Some Questions, Some Thoughts

What do these three things all have in common: Detroit, Trayvon Martin and JPMorgan?

In the legal profession, especially, reasoning to a sound conclusion is done with hard evidence, and from inferences.  Proving a fact from the existence of other facts, another way of saying inferential reasoning, often requires identifying and challenging long-held assumptions.  If the underlying assumption is false, then it calls into question any conclusion based on such false assumption.  Especially when analyzing human behavior, always one must ask: “for who’s benefit” and dig deep to identify hidden incentives that motivate behavior.

So let’s apply ourselves to something in the news at the moment.

In youth, life was simpler.  Before I attended law school, I tended to look at things through an either or paradigm, such as right versus wrong, on versus off, etc.  This simplistic reasoning skill serves many well, and it did me well,  until I advanced my thinking beyond this simplistic problem-solving model, learned how to critically think and actually use this method in my profession.  

The simple truth is that the prevalent method of problem solving is the either / or paradigm.  It is hard-wired into human beings.  Whether one believes in evolution, Darwinism, creationism, or any other theory, the scientific facts are that human beings have been around for a long time. During this time, human beings that avoided calamities, death, destruction injury etc., managed to procreate and pass their genes along.  The species continued, and here we are today.  

I happen to believe, supported by many scientific studies and my own professional experiences, that the current human being today operates using a complex decision-making process, on multiple level basis. There is a basic survival instinct, at the subconscious level, that operates to keep the species alive.  On top of that, is the conscious decision-making process that all of us humans also use.  It is this basic survival instinct which I refer to as reptilian.  [In the context of juror persuasion, David Ball is the guru of this model of thinking, and all credit goes to him.]

The reptilian brain is concerned with immediate survival.  There is no concern about social harmony, art, culture, interpersonal relationships or any of this other advanced thinking that we have today.  Instead, the reptilian brain is concerned with immediate survival in the immediate here and now.  For example, when suddenly confronted with a larger, outsized predator, the reptilian brain flashes the signal to fight or flee.  It is an either or proposition; that is, the reptile can stay fight, and then possibly be killed or maimed or injured, or can flee and hope to stay alive.  There is no intermediate decision-making input based on embarrassment, inconvenience, sensibility, or rationalizing, there is only the immediate decision to fight or flight.  

In persuasion, one must identify this reptilian instinct, and to succeed, one must not offend that basic truth or the persuasion effort is for naught. Likewise, it the underlying, unconscious instinct that is triggered, it is a very strong tool and persuasion is far more likely.  Mope works on this level, as does almost all marketing.  Take a look at any tv commercial with the sound off.  Look at the images, understand that the images are designed to bypass your logical thought process and instead influence your underlying subconscious.  

Is this either or decision-making process that makes it so easy for those managing perceptions to control the population.  It is hard-wired into all of us, it is natural, instinctive, and easy.  Which naturally leads to the next point, that is, those inclined who want to create followers, can apply the basic either / or method, by controlling the dialogue and thereby directing the current perception with ease.

Here is how it works: one would only need to create an either or paradigm, concerning important current events, supply both sides with sufficient facts to support either side, and let the populace argue between themselves regarding which side has the winning position.  

Under no  circumstances can the one creating the paradigm allow or validate any questions or criticisms concerning the assumption underlying the whole paradigm, that is, that there are only two choices, one of which is right.  At NO point can there ever be allowed to stand a challenge to the paradigm that only one of the two choices is correct.  Stated differently, not once will it be allowed for one to say: “why not a third choice? or “why only these two choices?”

By leaving the masses with only two choices, that is, by having them assume the paradigm of only having two choices, the rest becomes automatic and control of perception is as simple as creating a another either / or construct.

By eliminating critical thinking that is, an analysis of the entirety of the question presented as opposed to accepting the assumption and default theme into an either / or argument, the elite can and do control all of the current discussion.  When the masses, never having been trained, really, to critically think, confront new problems, then the problem solving method becomes one which the masses are used to using: the either / or proposition.

Democrat or republican?  See, the issue is not which among the universe of potential persons eligible and desiring to be president possesses good ideas and should be allowed to the job of president.  Instead, the choice is narrowed to one or the other and the masses get to argue the either / or model right through the election.  Likewise, there are other issues that similarly have their two, and only two choices: right to life vs. right to choose, gun control vs. 2nd amendment, amnesty vs. no amnesty.  See?  The list is endless, but the method is the same in every case.

In contrast, there are those of us who have been trained and immersed in critical thinking as a way of life.  We do not see things as black or white, on or off.  We view things as happening on a continuum. There is one end of the continuum, and the other end.  Nothing is absolute. It depends.

Everything is measured in nuances.  Things that happen in life fall somewhere on the continuum perhaps closer to one side or the other or perhaps in the middle and which are therefore not readily susceptible to categorization as an either or proposition paradigm.  Things placed on the continuum based on assumptions may have to be placed differently if the assumptions change.  Nothing is absolute.

Take for example, the standard of proof in the context of the United States judicial system.

Most people are familiar with the criminal context, that is in order for the prosecution to prevail, guilt must be proven to a jury beyond a reasonable doubt.  It is not about innocence at all.  It has only to do with whether the prosecution proved its case beyond a reasonable doubt.  If a jury harbors any reasonable doubt, the accused is set free.  See?  The standard of proof is placed at a far end of the continuum, towards the absolute end, but not completely at the end.  It is not absolute guilt, it is only guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

In a civil case however, proof is far less demanding than beyond a reasonable doubt; instead, proof in a civil case requires only that the prevailing party prove its case by a standard of more likely than not.  More likely than not means slightly better than a coin toss, a 50-50 plus a little more proposition.  Proof to this standard requires just enough to cause the scales to tip, even slightly, in favor of the winning side.

Guilt beyond a reasonable doubt means proof so compelling and overwhelming as to leave no reasonable doubt in the case.  Stated differently, in a civil case, there can be plenty of reasonable doubt on both sides, but so long as one side has proved what they have to prove more likely than not, then that side will be the victor.  A civil case victory can be had even if there is substantial doubt.  

In a civil case, the standard of proof of more likely than not tends to be more in the middle, whereas the continuum on a criminal case is toward the extreme end.  Lawyers tend to look at things based on where they fall on the continuum, and test every assumption, as opposed to just accepting everything at face value.  We ask a lot of why questions, too.  We do not accept pat answers, like “because” or “that’s the way it has always been.”

It is that type of thinking that permeates the legal profession, and it is that type of critical thinking that must be brought to bear in the context of analyzing the question above regarding what is the common theme between Detroit, Trayvon Martin and JPM?

1.  Detroit

    Let us not be all histrionic about this.  Plenty has been written, by skilled, knowledgeable commentators, regarding Detroit, its financial situation, and the 50 year run of events that led to the bankruptcy filing.  Here: http://thecommonsenseshow.com/2013/07/18/who-killed-detroit-city-and-why/

Here: http://blog.milesfranklin.com/the-entire-western-world-is-detroit

and Here: http://gulagbound.com/40098/coleman-young-the-communist-who-destroyed-detroit/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+gulagbound+%28GulagBound.com%29

are examples to read and think about.  But let us examine the assumption about the model of thinking about Detroit for a bit.

Either or problem-solving methodology applied to the Detroit situation is useful for creating social discussion, and perception management and can be shaped and manipulated based on the desired outcome.  For example, Detroit was a largely a Democrat-run city for decades.  Detroit failed, therefore, the Democrats are to blame.  See?  Wasn’t that easy? Or, let’s play the race card: Detroit is overwhelmingly black, Detroit failed as a city, therefore the failure is because the city is composed of a large population of black people.  Again, see how easy it is to create a simple either/or argument designed to manage perception towards a desired outcome?  But is such thinking valid, or is there more at play than a simple either / or proposition?

2.  Trayvon Martin

    Let’s go here as well.  Sticking to just the facts, here’s what we know for sure: George Zimmerman discharged a single round from his lawfully possessed handgun.  The bullet entered  17-year-old Trayvon Martin, causing his death.  The state of Florida prosecuted Zimmerman for various crimes, of which he was acquitted by the jury.  

    So, let’s draw out some either / or arguments that have been floating around the media for a bit: racist white George Zimmerman killed black youth Martin vs. Zimmerman was defending himself; or, the racist jury acquitted Zimmerman because he’s white versus had Zimmerman been black and killed Martin, Zimmerman would have been found guilty; or, changing themes: Zimmerman should not have been allowed to lawfully possess a handgun, and had Zimmerman not had a handgun, Martin would be alive, therefore guns are to blame for Martin’s death; or, the current theme playing out by the usual suspects, Trayvon Martin is an innocent victim of a white racist society versus Trayvon Martin is a typical violent black youth who met his just demise.  See how the casting of the either / proposition is what is important here for perception management?

    Why has no decent commentator in the media asked any of the hard questions, like why was there no prosecution until after politics got involved?  Why has there been media silence as to all of the other black youth killing going on DAILY in every city across the country?  Why is there no media reporting of the many hundreds of justifiable use of hand guns every day which use prevents crime or preserves the safety of a potential victim?  Why is there no outcry over the media choosing which either / or paradigm to focus upon, when other more important, pressing issues overwhelm day to day survival, like the continuing devaluing of the US Dollar and the dramatic loss of purchasing power?

3.  JPMorgan

    Well, where does one start when discussing JPM?  Jamie Dimon doing God’s work? Or is JPM a too big to fail too big to jail bank?  Anyone of us here know the truth about JPM being a too big to fail institution, with their millions and millions of dollars in fines from doing illegal activity, which some commentators have discussed, has simply proven that the too big to fail banks lie cheat and steal to the extent they can get away with it, hoping not to get caught.  In so doing, they generate millions and millions of dollars in profits, and every now and then, they do get caught in some illegality, get their wrist slapped and pay paltry fines as part of doing business.  Even today, it is being discussed that JPM is facing fines approaching $1 billion for some illegal activity.  

    Yet, there is no mainstream critical thinking applied to the JPM model or any of the other too big to fail banks.  Why not?  In my little neck of the woods, regular people do serious jail time for shoplifting.  Should not a huge white collar crime result in jail time, like stealing hundreds of millions of dollars in a rigged bond auction?  Yet, no one, not one! of the JPM banksters has gone to jail.  Why not?  

    Is it because all communication in the mainstream media stems from just six corporations who control it all?  Is there no alternative voice suggesting something different?  

    Or is it something more sinister, like a concerted effort to distract the masses from applying critical thinking skills to the most obvious question of the day: what is the source, if any, of the ongoing deterioration of the economy worldwide?

    Here are some questions I have, that come readily to mind just quickly thinking of the Detroit situation: Why did foreign automakers open manufacturing plants in the US but none of the plants were in Detroit? Why has not private enterprise descended upon Detroit, snatched up the cheap land with gusto, and launched their businesses?  For that matter, why haven’t large contemporary concerns, such as Amazon, Google, Apple or any of the other tech giants located operations or centers in Detroit where land is practically being given away and there is a huge workforce potentially available at a discount?  I mean, if they are importing workers from overseas anyway, why not locate to Detroit where the costs would be far less than in silicone valley?

    Here are some more questions that pierce the fog of assumptions: Who benefits from the City of Detroit being run into the ground?  Who benefits from a Detroit bankruptcy?  Who benefits from Detroit and its problems NOT being in the news every day?

    So, let us reason our way to some conclusions.

    Detroit slipped from prominence as an economic powerhouse starting in the 1970s.  What else happened of significance at that time?  Right: Nixon closed the gold window, making the US Dollar a pure fiat currency, which it remains to this day.

    Trayvon Martin was a 17 year-old black youth.  What happened in his life to put him in that position the day he got shot?  What was it about his life and culture that he decided to confront “cracka Zimmerman” instead of perhaps using his cell phone to call police, or just continuing on his way to his dad’s house where he could have avoided the confrontation altogether?  Why was this a gated community?  Why was Zimmerman on citizen’s patrol?  Where were the police or govt agent patrol cars?  Why did there have to be any patrols at all?  Why did Zimmerman feel the need to get out of his car and follow Martin? Why did Zimmerman have a loaded weapon anyway?  What was it about Martin that Zimmerman felt created such a need in Zimmerman that he had to follow Martin despite the 911 operator suggesting he stay in his car?  What kind of a person ignores the 911 operator and pursues a possible criminal suspect anyway?  How could have society evolved from the point of the 1970's until now to create this kind of situation?

    JPM is a merger of many large financial institutions.  JPM is a primary dealer, with intricate workings with the Federal Reserve.  The lend currency created out of thin air.  When JPM was about to realize losses from massive defaults, JPM got billions of dollars from the Fed in a bailout unavailable to regular, little people like us.  What is it about JPM that they have paid nearly $1 Billion in fines, yet no one has seen jail time?

    Step back and look: it is painfully obvious, but one must shake off the simplistic thinking and really look.  The common theme running through all of this is the devaluation of currency, specifically the US dollar.  

    There has been a complete decoupling between risk and reward in the context of currency, which has dramatically altered human behavior and normal incentive-based conduct.  Because the Federal Reserve can create currency out of thin air, the US dollar value has continued to erode over time as the Federal Reserve creates more and more dollars out of thin air backed by no value whatsoever.  A banker traditionally lent something of value, in essence taking a risk, in exchange for the payment of interest. The theory was simple: the banker charged interest because the principal may never get repaid.  Because there was risk of loss, the banker charged interest, and the rate of interest was based on the amount of risk of non payment.  The whole concept of currency, lending, risk, and interest was all intertwined and all of the participants could rationally make decisions based on the interplay of the risk versus reward.

This all changed with the elimination of value backing the currency.  No longer did a banker consider the risk / reward scenario in making the decision whether to lend money.  Instead, banking became concerned with the spread, leverage, collateralized debt obligations, and derivatives.  Because currency could be printed out of thin air, a banker could take unnecessary risk in exchange for a low interest rate, and in the event of a loss, well, there really was no loss because the currency was simply printed out of thin air to begin with.  The banker need only call upon the Federal Reserve to issue more currency in exchange for a swap of something of questionable value, such as a non-marked to market security that the banker valued at 100 cents on the dollar but in reality carried no value at all because the underlying collateral was valueless.  Who cares, the currency was printed from thin air, and the Federal Reserve could just create more currency!

So, we have the model of the thinking in the municipal bond markets and other debt products leading to the Detroit bankruptcy.  

But let’s change the currency model and examine if the Detroit situation would have occurred.  If the currency was backed by any sort of value, like gold or silver, etc., no sane banker would have lent to Detroit absent much higher interest rates. No banker would have done so, because the risk did not match the reward, or stated differently, there was too high a risk of default and not enough reward by way of interest.  Higher interest rates would have signaled higher if not extreme risk, and either Detroit would have been priced out of borrowing, that is, been unable to borrow, or could have borrowed but at a higher rate which would have had the effect of making Detroit live within its means and not rack up extreme debt.  Said differently, Detroit would have been forced to live within its means, or it would have had investors willing to take that risk for those very high rates of returns, but its ability to borrow huge sums would have been tempered by the debt service, which higher payments due to higher interest would have naturally created downsize pressure to keep Detroit’s debt at manageable levels.

Absent investors willing to take the increased risk even with high rates of return would have forced Detroit to live within its means, because there would’ve been no way for Detroit to borrow money under any scenario.  Is it the debtor’s fault for wanting cheap money, or the lender’s fault for supplying it?  Hmmm?  In such case, none of the politicians could have promised huge pensions, or borrowed money to pay for works of improvement that on paper would return only losses unless tax rates increased dramatically.  If the politicians were forced to admit that higher taxes would be the result of increased borrowing, the politicians never would’ve been allowed to be in office, the citizens would have almost assuredly elected fiscally responsible politicians, excessive borrowing would not occurred, excessive taxation would not have occurred, and businesses would not have shut down or otherwise moved out of the Detroit region because of the depressing economic activity including high taxes.  In short, with value backing the currency, the Detroit mess would never have materialized.

Detroit is NOT the product of unions, or of a large black population, or of crime, or drugs, or any of the other misplaced, fallacious “reasons” which are in reality all just symptoms of unbridled fiat currency printing to extremes.  While it is an easy, spring-loaded response to the question of “what happened to Detroit,” unions and demographics are not the answer because they too are but symptoms of the greater problem.  Yet, not one media pundit dares link the problems to fiat currency.

What about Trayvon Martin?  How is fiat currency and the Fed to blame for this situation?  Easy.  Open the critical thinking pathways and look at what is obvious.  Trayvon Martin is a product of his times.  Easy currency has distorted all form of economic incentives.  It is no longer fashionable to strive for a good education to get a well-paying job, or for that matter, to work hard in school, get good grades and go to college and then take a high-paying white collar job. The easily created fiat currency, lent out at low interest rates to any and everyone, has cheapened a college education to the point where it is unlikely that the burden of the costs incurred with borrowing in the form of student loan debt is ever to meet or exceed the benefit of having a college degree, unless such college degree is in a hard science.  But even then, because the economic incentives have all been so grotesquely distorted from, among other things, the financial sector and its insane bonus structure, it is unlikely that even one with a hard science degree is going to ever truly enjoy a sufficient benefit in the form of a middle-class existence working at a decent job for a decent wage towards a decent retirement.

So too has the easy currency model so distorted the incentive to work at all, that the popular culture, for generations, has been deluded into believing it is okay to accept government handouts, continually, for food, living expenses, healthcare, that the government handout model is superior to the family self-reliant model, to the point that violence is celebrated and rewarded and honest hard work is shunned and ridiculed.  The easy currency model has allowed an underclass to arise, content to indulge themselves in illicit drug use, and to while away their time on leisure activities rather than education or labor.  So, I see that both Trayvon and George are just products of their environment, as is the natural extension of the verdict discussion to the either / or propositions that have so permeated the media for the past 40 years.  

Look at Rodney King, and the LA riots following the acquittals in 1992.  Look at Trayvon Martin and the Zimmerman acquittal.  What has changed in twenty years?  We still have the same problem, the same outcome, the same outrage, the same race-hustlers and the same reactions.  Why?  Has there been no educational undertaking since then to try to understand?  Of course not.  Why?  Here is why: the right questions have not been asked, or answered, in the main stream media, and the obvious conclusions have not been spotted by the masses.

Now we get to JPM.  TF and his bloggers, wizards that they are, observe, analyze and discuss complex subjects, connecting the dots start to finish. Among the subjects of understanding include fiat currency, the too big to fail banks, and the Federal Reserve. There are countless links, YouTube videos, excellent discussions from such esteemed commentators like Mike Maloney, who have clearly and thoughtfully explained the role of fiat currency relative to a value backed currency from something such as gold or silver.  No fiat currency has ever survived, ever. In each instance, those in charge have adulterated and demeaned the currency to the point that it becomes valueless. It is human nature. There is no escape from it.

JPM is but a tool of the elite used to control the masses. Does JPM manipulate the Comex?  Does it matter, when the Fed prints $85 billion fresh currency every month?  It matters if one trades in the Comex casino and engages in commerce in the finance industry, because one then becomes subject to the rules and the whims of the fiat banking elite and their controllers.  The rest of us suffer the consequences of asset increases due to increasing currency supply disconnected to underlying value, inflation, currency shocks, etc. JPM exists only because the Fed bailed them out with fake money.  JPM is part of the current monetary system, and will no sooner fail than any of the other too big to fail banks.  JPM will do its part until there is no longer a US dollar fiat regime.  By then who knows?  

Until sound money reappears, what will stop foolish lending to profligate debtor’s? Fiat currencies are all in a race to the bottom, and their relative values are all meaningless because none of them exist aside and apart from being a fiat currency.  Since fiat currency can be printed from nothing, then anything of value priced in terms of a fiat currency is subject to fluctuation based on the whims of the central printer limited only by the confidence of the users of the currency.

Detroit, Trayvon and JPMorgan: all the product of fiat currency. They all are creatures of the giant ponzi, fiat Federal Reserve private bank.

37 Comments

murphy's picture

1st

To congratulate CL on his post. A big thank you to all our terrific fellow Turdite guest writers who are so talented and generous with their time.

I think the Taoists had the either/or thing figured out pretty good.

The meaning of Yin-Yang

yingnormalni.gif This Simbol(Yin-Yang) represents the ancient Chinese understanding of how things work. The outer circle represents "everything", while the black and white shapes within the circle represent the interaction of two energies, called "yin" (black) and "yang" (white), which cause everything to happen. They are not completely black or white, just as things in life are not completely black or white, and they cannot exist without each other.

So It Goes's picture

Great Essay

Bravo CA Lawyer.

A unifying theory to connect the dots.  It helps see through the clutter.

Keep it up.  

So it goes.

Silvergunn's picture

Thank You California Lawyer!!!

Well laid out Cal Lawyer.

Critical Thinking is the lacking theme in our society. Although taught in school, I think most are so lazy they let the MSM dictate how they should think. Accepting the bias put in front of us, while never asking questions. Actually, I think most don't know enough about what has been shoved in front of us to have any critical thinking on the subjects? Of course us Turdities understand Fiat and Sound Money to grasp what you have compiled for us here. I thank you and will be showing a few important peeps that need enlightening on the subjects and why they need to think critically; like the effects of Fiats!

Yealp, Thurd it is!!!

Dagney Taggart's picture

Outsider looking in....

God help the United States!

The bits and pieces of that whole Trayvon Martin circus did nothing to improve my perception regarding:

1. The US media are disgusting subhumans who look to exploit any socially-divisive matter.

2. There are too many reality TV poisoned Americans with too much time on their hands for what's left of the productive citizenry of the United States to overcome.

3. Victimization by racism has become a crutch, an excuse to be a lazy POS.

PS. Forgot one question: Would Trayvon even have existed in the first place without fiat currency? I would argue that fiat currency has allowed people who would not have existed in the first place to persist and weigh down the productive sector of humanity regardless of national boundaries.

PPS. What would Blankfein or Dimon be doing today without fiat currency. Coney Island vendors?

opticsguy's picture

great stuff

asd

Jakarta Expat's picture

@Dagney Taggert

PPS. What would Blankfein or Dimon be doing today without fiat currency. Coney Island vendors?

Early life: Servicing gay male Republicans in a "wide stance" position in some public bathroom

Midlife: Servicing gay male Republicans in a "wide stance" position in some public bathroom

Retirement life: Servicing gay male Republicans in a "wide stance" position in some public bathroom

ironsky's picture

Speaking of facts.

The George Zimmerman call was a 311 non-emergency call requesting police investigation.  George Zimmerman was created by the fact that the police are poor agents of crime prevention. They really are a version of ServPro for the State.  

Having said that, I am inclined toward your argument.

benque's picture

Really well said!

I agree 100% with what you wrote CA Lawyer.

Thank you for putting in the time and effort to lay it out so clearly for us all.

Pining 4 the Fjords's picture

Really well done

Excellent post CL- dots well connected.  The rot of fiat runs exceptionally deep, there are so many things easy money policy allows / supports that we don't think about or take the time to connect-up.  You did that beautifully in this piece, well done!

I must say I was disappointed that you stated yesterday that you will not be giving out free legal advice at this blog.  What is the world coming to when highly educated people with valuable skills  insist on being paid to perform a service... shouldn't that be available at any time to anyone completely free of charge without compensation? In todays America, I say YES!   Thats why I want to announce to everyone that although CL has explicitly stated he will not give legal advice here at his blog, unlike him I have no trouble giving all sorts of legal advice so ask away!  I aced law school, so I know this stuff cold.  Well, I wasn't a completely straight-A student, but who is, right? Actually, I almost went to law school which is nearly the same thing.  Well, that might be a tiny exaggeration,  but I once drove past a law school.  So I'm not exactly a "lawyer" per se, but don't I don't let that stop me and you shouldn't either. Free stuff, people. 

DeaconBenjamin's picture

Bank of England has sold 1300 tons of gold?

DayStar's picture

Harvey's Up!

GoldCore: Premiums in India are $20 per ounce over London prices as demand outstrips government restricted supply.  DS: Farmers had a good monsoon and good crops and will be flush with cash and looking to buy gold.  Smuggling up markedly.  Government losing revenue on smuggled gold while not appreciably affecting their balance of trade. Aristotle wrote: "In effect, there is nothing inherently wrong with fiat money, provided we get perfect authority and god-like intelligence for kings."  Lord Rees Mogg said: "Governments lie; bankers lie; even auditors sometimes lie: gold tells the truth." Voltaire wrote: "Paper money goes down to its intrinsic value - zero."  Indian Department of Revenue spokesman: "[Gold smuggling] is mostly coming from Dubai but also from Bangkok and Singapore...Some of the gold comes by sea, but it also is being smuggled across land borders with Bangladesh and Nepal. Smugglers can be difficult to catch. DS: Smugglers can be hard to catch, especially when local officials profit from the practice.  DS on JPM: It sounds to me like they are getting out of the warehousing business. It does not look like they intend to give up the paper control of the markets. Canada's Financial Post: The downturn in the mining industry is beginning to ripple through brokerage firms and investment banks in Canada. Jim Rickards: Gold prices will surpass $7,000 an ounce in an inevitable global currency reset. Chris Powell: Where Mr. Rickards and the growing number of savants who argue in favor of a reset are frustrating is that they can provide no timeline. Liezel Hill : Newmont Mining Corp, the second-largest gold producer, reported a surprise loss after taking a $2.26 billion writedown on the value of stockpiles and two Australian mines following a slump in gold prices.  DS: Jiangsu province in China is in trouble. It has run out of sources of credit while at the same time its tax base is drying up due to massive slumps in foreign sales. Jiangsu is so big (as big as Turkey) that if it goes under, it could drag down the rest of China's economy.  Mark Grant: I mark September 22, 2013, the date of Angela Merkel's election, as a day to be remembered.  All the stuff swept under the rug for now will return for a handout, and the German cupboard will be bare. All this and more on...

The Harvey Report!

http://www.tfmetalsreport.com/comment/334810#comment-334810

DayStar

 
Desert Fox's picture

Blessed and Priveleged

Lurking around on a Saturday afternoon, I'm reminded how smart and intelligent so many of TF's membership are.

CL's guest post just hit a grand-slam. Hard to beat the quality of what you all offer.

God Bless and Godspeed to you all!  Silver and Gold will have their day and I hope you all can prosper from it.

Integrity never goes out of style even if it falls out of favor.

gearhead_24's picture

Pining...

But didn't you stay at a Holiday Inn?

wink

SteveW's picture

Critical non-thinking

As you'll know the subconscious or autonomic nervous system controls routine maintenance, such as heart beating although some yogi can consciously influence that. In recent years, as I age, I've discovered an interaction between my subconscious and conscious mind.

It works like this. I get up in a morning, dress, go downstairs, start to cook breakfast when I get an overwhelmingly urgent need to drop a turd. Most annoying as I have to turn off the stove to avoid a fire.

So what's happening? As I lay asleep or groggily awakening I presumably was in the same condition and the autonomic system polled a higher level and that higher level, although still subconscious said WAIT. Now that level of subconscious is not connected to any memory or it would alert me before I dressed. No I have to wait until my autonomic polls once more, the subconscious negative governor says OK and my conscious mind finally realizes there's a hell of a rush if I want to keep clean.

I call this subconscious governor critical non-thinking and although this example is trivial, suspect it relates to much of our learned behaviour.

SteveW's picture

CL: What is manslaughter?

I read that the TM jury had to find "intent to kill" to render a verdict of manslaughter. I found this peculiar since vehicular manslaughter does not imply any intent to kill. Is this a feature of handguns or Florida law or a judical or reporting error. There I've found 3 ors.

Gold Dog's picture

Steve

If you are dropping a deuce I am using my flight response!

Dog

Gold Dog's picture

Cal

Great piece! I have spent the last number of years in an ineffective attempt to instill critical thinking in those around me.....primarily regarding the global fisc and what is occurring with same.

It is my experience that many people are resistant to engaging in thinking. I doubt that it is sloth or laziness, most people that I spend any time with are pretty well accomplished, I think that it may threaten their perceptions and they shy away from it by instinct.

Perhaps you could give me,(us), some advice on how to be more effective teachers. I would spend some time thinking about it but am too lazy!laugh

Thanks,

Your friend,

Dog

¤'s picture

Intense and thorough

It's what I've come to expect and appreciate from you CAL...thanks!

Gold Dog's picture

Steve

My understanding is that manslaughter involves some degree of recklessness.

2nd degree murder, which is what GZ was being tried for speaks to a state of mind that intends to do harm.

Dog

That will be $150.00.

Jim H's picture

Great post CL...

I don't post here much... but I wanted to jump in and voice my appreciation for this excellent bit of monetary philosophizing.  Fiat currency is at the root of so many of our problems today... and most people don't see this.  CL's post here reminds me of some of the writings of Hugo Salinas Price, but with updated examples.  Here is one of Hugo's posts that voices the same concerns about fiat;

http://www.plata.com.mx/mplata/articulos/articlesFilt.asp?fiidarticulo=194

De-industrialization of the West set in under globalization, which was constantly extolled as the new, modern and progressive structure of the world’s economy. Old industrial buildings were transformed into structures harboring cafés, restaurants and art shops.

The de-industrialization was masked with credit expansion facilitating consumption, not production, which was un-economic under the globalization scheme. Stagnant or falling wage earnings were supplemented with easy credit for the masses.

This all happened because the money the world has been using since 1971 is fiat money, not real money. But still, at this date, you hear very few voices recognizing this fundamental fact.

Modern war means destruction and death for masses of people. When WW II was over, the destruction began to heal. The cities were rebuilt, the survivors went back to what they had been doing when the war broke out: they returned to earning their livings with work, doing what they knew how to do. Normality returned, generally speaking.

But consider the effect of fiat money on the whole world.

The whole productive structure of the world has been overthrown. The factories that have vanished in the developed nations cannot be rebuilt. Globalization makes them un-economic.

The apparent prosperity of the developed nations of the world today has been sustained by credit expansion, not by savings. The West has been living like an heir to a great fortune, wasting away its inheritance. It is now bankrupt. The continuance of a whole way of life is now in danger of collapse, because it is becoming impossible to expand credit any further. The Chinese are in no better situation: their supposed prosperity will crumble when the policy of expanding credit in the West has to come to a halt and the markets which China has supplied fade away.

The Welfare State, funded with fiat money, has produced millions upon millions of humans who have grown accustomed to a good life based on credit and welfare.

and later in the piece;

The people of the West have largely forgotten the accumulated productive know-how that was built up over centuries. City-dwellers and suburbanites cannot go back to farming, to raising live-stock, or to the thousand trades and manufactures that used to exist. And even if they could, they would not do so; the millions of unemployed in the West are no longer used to working hard to keep body and soul together; they no longer accept the proposition that life implies struggle.

Fiat money has destroyed humanity’s normal way of life; a way of life in which men and women could find their places and were thankful to have them. That old way of life is gone; the old attitudes toward life and work have been erased.

This is destruction many times worse than the worst destruction of any war. That is where we are today. This is what fiat money has brought to the world. Fiat money is the child of the arrogance of human intellect, which has sought to invalidate the laws of human nature which have regarded the precious metals as money for thousands of years, and sought to substitute an intellectual construct for the real thing. Now we are going to pay for that arrogance.

Fred Hayek's picture

Bravo Cali Advocate! The false dichotomy is the most prevalent

The false dichotomy is perhaps the most prevalent logical con one sees.  Oh, there are many others but you see the false dichotomy all the time. 

Watch two people argue.  One is for proposition A.  The other advocates a different proposition, B.  Watch how often the person in favor of one or the other will make his case along the lines of "Well if we don't do A then (apocalyptically dire consequences) will result!" 

There are all sorts of variations of this amounting to narrowing the context of a situation down to an either or proposition, almost always with the or antithetical to the speaker being terrible or ridiculous.

One instance that has stuck in my head was a piece from, I think, one of John Stossel's shows.  It was on the subject of education.  Stossel or someone else on his show wondered why professors or public school teachers should be so special that they should get tenure where almost no one else gets such contractual treatment.  Stossel sensibly asked if being free from repercussions of the quality of one's work wouldn't detract from the quality of that work.  As luck would have it, one of Stossel's co-workers managed to bring up this very issue to a hollywood half wit.  Matt Damon (the son of teachers, I believe) was somewhere advocating for more education spending and was asked if teachers should get tenure.  Won't the near impossibility of firing a bad teacher lead to lower quality teaching?  If you want to give teachers higher salaries (as Damon was advocating) shouldn't they also be accountable?  And here was Damon's response (paraphrasing from memory) "Yeah, teachers are just in it for the money."

See, he was backed into a bit of a corner.  Human nature is human nature.  If there's almost no possibility of being fired for doing poor work, human nature is such that very many of us will have progressively less dedication to our work.  But this reality does not redound to the benefit of his policy position.  So, Damon avoided the reality of human nature by pretending the issue was one of either supporting teachers or believing that they're greedy bastards only in it for the money.  This is not a foolproof indicator but very often, whichever party in a debate resorts to presenting a false dichotomy is the party which knows the facts are not on his or her side.

Dimeboy's picture

Steve

On the timing of your morning "ritual" I would suspect that the biology of the activation of fluids as a result of the addition of oral liquids (coffee?) and the triggering of peristaltic action via the preparation of the thought of food, then added to the force of gravity exhibited from your now standing position in the kitchen has a lot more to with the timing of your intestinal evacuation than any consciousness that you are attributing to it....

just saying..

kingboo's picture

The funny thing about persuasion

Cal Lawyer, very nicely done....

The most interesting aspect to me about the "who benefits?" question that must be asked in every case, is the fact that it really requires a follow-up question, which is "and how do they benefit?"

Motivation is the root-cause of all behavior...no exceptions. So, i always find myself asking what is their motive and what emotion is their motivation founded upon? Many people believe that most of the immoral and criminal behavior we see is based upon greed, lust, envy etc... and this is true, to an extent.  But, like a castle that soars high into the sky,  we only see the protruding structure....not the foundation upon which it is constructed.

I have come to believe that all of the deadly sins have their foundations built in FEAR.

When a man craves more money than he needs in 10 lifetimes, expressing extreme greed, is he not trying to satisfy a need for security? for control?....a level of security and control that is simply irrational?

And isn't this same need for security and control firmly rooted in a FEAR of lack of security? lack of control?

I have come to believe that it most certainly is...... 

And isn't fear one of the most basic survival tools that we human beings have? A healthy amount of fear is a good thing in life, it keeps you from walking on thin ice, it keeps you from touching a hot stove....healthy fears are good, they keep us alive.

However, what we see in our leaders, bankers, law enforcement, in other words...all the people who control the populous, is FEAR run amok.... fear to the extreme. They have bad emotional boundaries and very very poor coping skills.  FEAR dominates their existence.  These types have a soul sickness that is rooted in their very core. These people are deathly afraid of being exposed for who they really are...afraid to expose their emotional weaknesses (which all of us have) for they might be seen as prey ... opening themselves up to attack from more dominant personalities...so they clamor for more, more of everything, desperately seeking security, which all reasonable people understand is simply limited by our mortality....but that reality is uncomfortable to these people.....   Even a child understands that one day we all must die.

Irrational fear is the most dangerous of emotions, and yet it is the very thing that underpins all criminal behavior.

And i have no idea what the solution is...but i do believe that peace in your soul is by far the most precious commodity, and those who dwell in irrational fears will never achieve the slightest amount of this.

Mr. Mark's picture

Solutions

A most excellent post and read CL. The common unraveling thread has been discovered, at least by some if not yet the masses, and all it took was an objective POV, a clear head, and a little critical thinking.

Now for a solution that doesn't rip the remaining tattered fabric of society apart. No doubt it's gonna be a long road to hoe for society in general but understanding is the best place to start and for that I thank TF, CL, and all the other well informed and thoughtful posters.

A great piece, imho, of additional critical thinking prose to compliment CL's fantastic contribution laying out a solution can be found at the link below. Suffice it to say that the US needs help in this regard but who could or would? You might be surprised to find out. Enjoy.

http://www.goldensextant.com/ChineseGPS.html#anchor29599

Fred Hayek's picture

@Kingboo, you're forgetting about status

One of the strongest human impulses is the desire to attain and express status.  I strongly suspect that the guy who craves more money than he could use in 10 lifetimes is not insecure.  He's attained a certain level of status and now has it in his head that he must attain the next level of status to be properly regarded, to be a success. 

You can argue that he's subconsciously insecure or something like that but it might not be all that useful to think of things that way because the clear manner of it being expressed is as the pursuit of status.  Status is power.  Status is the availability of mating possibilities.  Status is the prism through which the light of insecurity and fear gets directed.

kingboo's picture

@FredHayek

This is true...but it is all built on a foundation of irrational fears.

JY896's picture

Simply... brilliant

Thanks for that, CaliLaw -- while I expected nothing less, that was a brilliant piece.

"In persuasion, one must identify this reptilian instinct, and to succeed, one must not offend that basic truth or the persuasion effort is for naught. Likewise, it the underlying, unconscious instinct that is triggered, it is a very strong tool and persuasion is far more likely.  Mope works on this level, as does almost all marketing.  Take a look at any tv commercial with the sound off.  Look at the images, understand that the images are designed to bypass your logical thought process and instead influence your underlying subconscious."

Bingo. For anyone not familiar, it was a serious milestone/turning point to have learned more about the origin and implications of modern propaganda aka public relations aka advertising/marketing, and the curious coincident genesis of the modern consumer society. A decent place to start is Adam Curtis' documentary Century of the Self (lots more of his stuff on the same site).

El Gordo's picture

CL

Excellent.  My simple mind is still stuck in the either/or mode I guess.  Since I refuse to be led about by the nose by listening to the MSM, I simple make the decision to turn it off, or at least I did until my TV was stolen.  That was a few years ago and I still can't remember why I had it in the first place.  So now I don't even have to make the decision to turn it on or turn it off, thus making my life even more simple.  It just doesn't get much better than that, and no critical thinking skills are required at all.

57Goldtop's picture

Kick-ass

CL,

This read was one of the finest I've had. Superb work my friend!

GT

question's picture

Thanks CL; Superb Reasoning

and so much clicked into place as I read. Turdville truly is the Watchtower for our age.

I found the below article very disheartening concerning the bastardization of what, seemingly, used a pretty good justice system.

From a piece here;

http://www.caseyresearch.com/cdd/trained-monkey-collaborators-of-death

ITEM: Eric Holder's Justice Department used taxpayer money and government resources to organize protests against Zimmerman.

ITEM: The state retrieved unflattering images and texts from Trayvon's phone and hid them from Zimmerman's defense team. When a whistleblower forced them to reveal the evidence, he was fired. But it didn't matter anyway, because the judge suppressed pretty much any evidence conflicting with the rosy picture of innocence lost.

ITEM: As the defense was winding down, the Judge harangued Zimmerman in front of the jury about whether he was going to testify, making him look at times confused and even furtive. Understandable, because he and no one else wasn't expecting to have the judge break free of tradition and directly harass a witness.

ITEM: The entire early narrative, which has largely stuck in the glue-like minds of most of the unquestioning masses, is built around the idea that George Zimmerman is a white racist.

But rather than being a "white racist," George Zimmerman's genetic make-up is actually about as "mixed" as you get, including a Peruvian mother, a white father, and a black great-grandfather. In addition, it was well established that, if anything, Zimmerman was an advocate for the black community.

This is a well written piece about what is happening to our society; hopefully the disease can be contained within the borders of the ussa before infects the rest of the western world (or is it too late)?

http://www.caseyresearch.com/cdd/trained-monkey-collaborators-of-death

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