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EJ
09-22-08, 08:08 PM
http://www.itulip.com/images/paulsonplan.jpgStock market falls 372 points, gold back over $900. Another ho-hum day at the government run casino

Gold and oil investors on the other side of the trade roared back after cowering in the corner for a few weeks after the US Treasury, the Bank of Japan and a few other friends of the Fed ganged up on the short financials/long commodities trade popular among the world's hedge funds, desperate to protect their clients' wealth from the ravages of currency value destruction. That intervention sent oil and gold tumbling, but with the prospect of an exchange of a trillion bonars (http://www.itulip.com/glossary.htm#Bonar) for a pile of now worthless high-concept securities, the trade is back with a vengeance.

Over the weekend our Finance Minister Hank Paulson (http://www.itulip.com/forums/showthread.php?p=44283#post44283) poured out promises of a quick fix and return to "normal" – endless asset price inflation and over-consumption funded by it. All it will cost is the next generation’s savings on top of the current generation’s already committed.

In for a penny in for a dollar.

Yesterday our Congress shocked us not only by showing up for work but showing the audacity to step up to – gasp! – ask questions about the Treasury's power grab. Here on C-SPAN, US Congressman Peter DeFazio puts on a rousing Mr. Smith Goes to Washington performance. The golden key is a nice touch.

<object height="344" width="425">

<embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/ANGsBNMY1_c&hl=en&fs=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" height="344" width="425"></object>


For the first time since this crisis started in the spring of 2007 Congress pushed back on our Finance Minister’s demands. If not directly confronting or even doubting they at least wondered aloud why we need allow him and his unknown successors and assorted minions to do whatever they deem necessary for a period of two years, at the pleasure of the secretary’s office, to return the US financial system to its rightful place as the world’s most deep and transparent, even as the veneer of trust flakes off to reveal shallowness and opacity. As Marshall McLuhan once said, "Mud sometimes gives the illusion of depth."

One US representative reared up on his hind legs to suggest that perhaps, just maybe, the Minister might recuse himself from these proceedings as his former employer is counted among the now very limited two item menu of investment banks remaining of a 150 year tradition of capitalism in America, Goldman Sacks and JP Morgan, all other competitors now summarily wiped out. Also, and, well, gee (and – gosh) while we're on the subject, they aren't even investment banks anymore. The Fed on Monday made the two winners of the US Investment Bank Survivor Show – presto! – into bank holding companies so that they may swallow what is left of the assets of 1,000 or so bank failures, as estimated by reliable sources, waiting in the wings.

Is that, you know, like, constitutional?

Last time this happened, after the Savings & Loan fiasco, the government created the Resolution Trust Corporation so that any value that might possibly be recovered in the assets of those Frankenstein creations of deregulation and corruption stood a chance of recapture by tax payers, to minimize the damage. Fair value for those assets was assured by their sale on the open market. Not this time. We may never know what Goldman and JP Morgan will in the future pay for the assets that they are now politically lined up to receive at a discount. Of course, the truth is that most of the securitized debt is completely worthless – so should we complain that any value they might have will be snagged by private banks behind closed doors?

Too late now. Instead of decision making authority Congress will demand transparency, dutiful reporting of decisions after the fact.

Transparency. There’s a word I’d like to see banished from the finance lexicon. Let’s replace it with a venerable yet less popular word: honesty.

Enron was transparent. It provided all of the data it was asked for in unfathomable volumes and right on time. US accounting firms with once honored names swore by them.

But they were all lying.

Can Secretary Paulson be trusted? Maybe so or maybe not. But if Congress passes this measure to give him even a fraction of the power he is asking for, they may as well cancel the upcoming presidential election in the same vote.

It won’t matter anyway.

iTulip Select (http://www.itulip.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1032) subscribers can read our extensive analysis published today on the possibility and implications of capital and currency price controls in:
US exchange rate and capital controls or bust? (http://www.itulip.com/forums/showthread.php?p=49722#post49722)
September 23, 2008, iTulip

When inflows become outflows: Avoiding the Sudden Stop at the end of the multi-decade long American capital flow bonanza.

Moreover, it may well be asked whether we can take it for granted that a return to freedom of exchanges is really a question of time. Even if the reply were in the affirmative, it is safe to assume that after a period of freedom the regime of control will be restored as a result of the next economic crisis.
—Paul Einzig, Exchange Control, MacMillan and Company, 1934

Exchange rate and capital controls are viewed by our modern economics orthodoxy as the retrograde policy of desperate third world countries that can’t hack free markets. However, history teaches us to not discount the possibility that major economies even in our current times may use them as a last resort. Each day the front page of the newspaper is plastered with reports of one last resort measure after another. It’s time to give the possibility of exchange rate and currency controls serious consideration. More ($ Subscription) … (http://www.itulip.com/forums/showthread.php?p=49722#post49722)
iTulip Select (http://www.itulip.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1032): The Investment Thesis for the Next Cycle™
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bart
09-22-08, 08:13 PM
http://www.nowandfutures.com/g2/fascism_obvious.jpg





http://www.nowandfutures.com/g2/accept_fascism.jpg

marvenger
09-23-08, 01:44 AM
why do I feel so damn helpless watching htis happen? I don't even live in the US. Protest outside FOX news or something americans, millions of you! make sure you're heard.

touchring
09-23-08, 01:48 AM
Ok, Nationalization doesn't work. Communism next.

marvenger
09-23-08, 01:55 AM
I think barts right, it's fascism. Everyone is bowing to the power of those in control of the printing press, they know nothing else....I don't either actually but gold or commodity based currency and zero interest loans sounds a whole lot better to me. Of course the most powerful people in the world will no longer be so in such a world so its a rather large obstacle to overcome.

*T*
09-23-08, 07:29 AM
I thought I was way out on the fringe, but apparently not any more.

EJ - I challenge you to put this thread on the front page, with bart's first graphic. Let's call it what it is - the first stages of a fascist coup d'etat.

Respectfully,

t

D-Mack
09-23-08, 08:51 AM
Well, Ron Paul said Congress ought to go home

http://itulip.com/forums/showthread.php?t=5274

we_are_toast
09-23-08, 09:14 AM
Stock market falls 372, gold back over $900. Ho, hum.


Today our Congress not only shocked us by showing up for work but had the audacity to step up to an assistant's job and – gasp! – ask questions!

For the first time since this crisis started Congress pushed back on our Finance Minister’s demands. If not directly confronting or even doubting they at least wondered aloud why we need allow him and his unknown successors and assorted minions to do whatever they deem necessary, at the pleasure of the secretary’s office, to return the US financial system to its rightful place as the world’s pre-eminent, even as the veneer of market depth and transparency flakes off to reveal its true shallowness and opacity.



Keep in mind EJ that if the 2006 elections had turned out the way they did from 2000-2004 we wouldn't even be having this discussion. The Rubber stamp congress of the same party that handed over it's powers to the executive branch would have enacted Paulsons plan behind closed doors and the money pumps to the big banks would be pumping full speed.

I agree with you that the transition to a new economy is now underway whether we like it or not. But we should remember that what we transition into is yet to be determined, and the Executive-legislative-judicial branches will play a big part in where we end up.

A congress that pushes back is a step forward from one that doesn't. The American public through neglecting it's responsibilities to be informed citizens, have given us a government of laissez faire robber barons that worked against it's own people. But it is not a government that we MUST have, it's a government grown from the seeds of ignorance.

The ballot box may be one of the few tools we will have at our disposal to help reduce the pain of the transition period and to form a new economy that will be reasonably fair, honest, and sustainable. I think we need to be careful not to let our current despair lead us to abandon one of the few tools we have to maybe help get us to a place where we have a chance to build something better. If we let this transition be determined by the same people who gave us the current system, then the America we end up will be the America we deserve.

Chris
09-23-08, 09:34 AM
They really are desperate, aren't they? Obviously the thought of total control is just too tempting to resist:


Paulson and Bernanke urge approval of bail-out (http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/ec3dfdba-896e-11dd-8371-0000779fd18c.html)

By James Politi in Washington
Published: September 23 2008 13:58 | Last updated: September 23 2008 13:58

Hank Paulson, US treasury secretary, and Ben Bernanke, chairman of the Federal Reserve, on Tuesday urged Congress to rapidly approve their $700bn government intervention to rescue the US financial system from collapse.
In remarks released ahead (http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/33d2214e-8968-11dd-8371-0000779fd18c.html)of a hearing before legislators on the Senate banking committee, Mr Paulson defended the plan, saying it would “avoid a series of financial institution failures and frozen credit markets that threaten American families’ financial well-being, the viability of businesses both small and large, and the very health of our economy.”

Rantly McTirade
09-23-08, 11:25 AM
If anyone thinks the Demopublican side of the coin isn't nostrils deep in this cesspool with the Republicrat side (or MSNBC/CNN with Sux News),
emphatically including Dahack Odamnit(see whose written him the biggest
campaign checks), then I've got some lovely CDS paper I'd be happy to
let you have, for a song(probably one from Metallica or Black Sabbath, tho).:(

j4f2h0
09-23-08, 12:03 PM
If anyone thinks the Demopublican side of the coin isn't nostrils deep in this cesspool with the Republicrat side (or MSNBC/CNN with Sux News),
emphatically including Dahack Odamnit(see whose written him the biggest
campaign checks), then I've got some lovely CDS paper I'd be happy to
let you have, for a song(probably one from Metallica or Black Sabbath, tho).:(

MY Sentiments Exactly Rantly!

ASH
09-23-08, 12:30 PM
I thought I was way out on the fringe, but apparently not any more.

EJ - I challenge you to put this thread on the front page, with bart's first graphic. Let's call it what it is - the first stages of a fascist coup d'etat.

Respectfully,

t

Y'all (Bart, marvenger, and T) need to find a different word for what this is, because "fascist" means something else:

Fascism is a totalitarian nationalist political ideology and mass movement that is concerned with notions of cultural decline or decadence, and which seeks to achieve a millenarian national rebirth by exalting the nation or race, as well as promoting cults of unity, strength and purity.

The reason you need to find another word is because -- like any reference to Hitler or the Nazis -- you immediately dilute and discredit your message the moment you resort to the f-word for any political development of which you do not approve.

You are right about the statist undertones of a further power grab by the executive, but you are all kinds of wrong -- and rhetorically lazy to boot -- to use that word for this circumstance.

Master Shake
09-23-08, 12:58 PM
Your tinfoil is not working, bart.

t12357
09-23-08, 01:01 PM
What about corporativism?

http://www.opednews.com/articles/opedne_frank_j__060913_defining_fascism_2c_th.htm





The reason you need to find another word is because ...

don
09-23-08, 01:18 PM
Painting these events in a broad historical brush I think we are witnessing Capitalism in its purest form. As Marx would say, unfettered. Mercantile Capitalism transforming into Production Capitalism transforming into Finance Capitalism.

In the 20th Century Capitalism was fettered by class conflicts it didn't always win. Following WW2 not only was Capitalism's Big Kahuna stalemated by organized labor but it had a global rival system to contend with, hence Capitalism With A Human Face.

Those fetters have been decisively broken.

Looking at history as a guide to the future, when a system reaches a point of historical purity it usually means the next historical epoch is about to emerge. It's usually a big surprise. If we're around long enough, I guess we'll see.

don
09-23-08, 01:29 PM
“This is all about the American taxpayer. That’s all we care about.”<o>:p></o>:p>



<!----> <!--[endif]--><o>:p></o>:p>



“If it works the way it should work, this is not an expenditure, it’s an investment.”<o>:p></o>:p>



<!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--> <!--[endif]--><o>:p></o>:p>



“I share the outrage …”<o>:p></o>:p>



<!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--> <!--[endif]--><o>:p></o>:p>



All of the above are quotes of Mr. Paulson from today’s hearing. Sorry if you were eating.<o>:p></o>:p>



<!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--> <!--[endif]--><o>:p></o>:p>



But they weren’t [I]all lies. He did say:<o>:p></o>:p>



<!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--> <!--[endif]--><o>:p></o>:p>



“You ask me about taxpayers being on the hook? Guess what, they are already on the hook.”



http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/09/23/following-the-bailout-hearing/index.html?hp

flintlock
09-23-08, 02:12 PM
Looking at history as a guide to the future, when a system reaches a point of historical purity it usually means the next historical epoch is about to emerge. It's usually a big surprise. If we're around long enough, I guess we'll see.

If history is any indication, this will end up along the lines of the October revolution or the French Revolution, with violence and some politician heads rolling. I simply don't see the middle class sitting on its hands and watching its life savings evaporate to inflation, while the politician and special executive class gets a free "do-over". The lower class mob will throw their lot in with the bourgeoisie when the welfare checks no longer cut it.

Buy guns and ammo.

phirang
09-23-08, 02:24 PM
If history is any indication, this will end up along the lines of the October revolution or the French Revolution, with violence and some politician heads rolling. I simply don't see the middle class sitting on its hands and watching its life savings evaporate to inflation, while the politician and special executive class gets a free "do-over". The lower class mob will throw their lot in with the bourgeoisie when the welfare checks no longer cut it.

Buy guns and ammo.

Right, guns do a lot against Blackwater mercs and guys with lasers.

Slimprofits
09-23-08, 03:45 PM
Right, guns do a lot against Blackwater mercs and guys with lasers.

Being shot doesn't appeal at all and call me a wuss, but I really don't ever want to be blasted by one of those heat/laser "crowd control" beams that they've got now.

phirang
09-23-08, 03:46 PM
Being shot doesn't appeal at all and call me a wuss, but I really don't ever want to be blasted by one of those heat/laser "crowd control" beams that they've got now.

use tin foil shield...:D

ASH
09-23-08, 03:46 PM
Right, guns do a lot against Blackwater mercs and guys with lasers.
Don't buy into the paranoia about domestic use of Blackwater or other mercenary forces.

Small unrest (a couple of guys in a remote compound) are dealt with by the FBI or ATF.

Protests are managed by local law enforcement; protests which turn violent are dealt with by local law enforcement, backed by the national guard.

On rare occasion, major protests (thousands of protestors, such as the Bonus Army of 1932) are dispersed by troops. Out of 43,000 marchers, the dead and injured included, according to Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bonus_Army):

Two veterans killed.
Two infants asphyxiated with adamsite gas.
An 11-week-old baby suffered shock from the gassing.
An 11-year-old boy, David Barscheski, was partially blinded by the gassing.
A civilian bystander was shot in the shoulder.
Veteran Christopher Bilger's ear was severed by a cavalryman.
A veteran was bayonetted in the hip.
Twelve policemen were injured by the veterans.
More than 1,000 men, women, and children were gassed with adamsite gas, including policemen, news reporters, civil residents of Washington D.C., and ambulance drivers.

Contrast this to what happens when people riot in real totalitarian countries.

Widespread and popular anger would not, in my opinion, be met with force. Members of the armed forces are not -- I repeat for the n'th time on iTulip -- the robotic jack-booted thugs some of you imagine. There are two structural reasons why the American military cannot be used effectively against widespread and popular dissent. First, and foremost, the military is not a route to riches. In some societies, a job in the government -- and the security forces in particular -- is the only means of getting ahead, and the way one gets ahead is through graft and corruption. The principle draw for joining the military in such countries is the opportunity to victimize one's fellow citizens (and not be a victim oneself) -- that is most certainly not the case in the US. The second reason is that the members of the American armed forces are drawn from -- and sympathetic to -- the people. They are not from a single dominant ethnic or social class, and they are not the instruments of such a class's dominance.

If hard times persist, and the government becomes the only game in town, then eventually our civil service and military might become overtly corrupt. However, that is a cultural change which would happen over time. The way I see it, people are going to get angry and start protesting long before then. Thus, if we're talking about the government's response to widespread protest now, it makes sense to talk about the securities services now.

phirang
09-23-08, 03:56 PM
Don't buy into the paranoia about domestic use of Blackwater or other mercenary forces.

Small unrest (a couple of guys in a remote compound) are dealt with by the FBI or ATF.

Protests are managed by local law enforcement; protests which turn violent are dealt with by local law enforcement, backed by the national guard.

On rare occasion, major protests (thousands of protestors, such as the Bonus Army of 1932) are dispersed by troops. Out of 43,000 marchers, the dead and injured included, according to Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bonus_Army):

Two veterans killed.
Two infants asphyxiated with adamsite gas.
An 11-week-old baby suffered shock from the gassing.
An 11-year-old boy, David Barscheski, was partially blinded by the gassing.
A civilian bystander was shot in the shoulder.
Veteran Christopher Bilger's ear was severed by a cavalryman.
A veteran was bayonetted in the hip.
Twelve policemen were injured by the veterans.
More than 1,000 men, women, and children were gassed with adamsite gas, including policemen, news reporters, civil residents of Washington D.C., and ambulance drivers.
Contrast this to what happens when people riot in real totalitarian countries.

Widespread and popular anger would not, in my opinion, be met with force. Members of the armed forces are not -- I repeat for the n'th time on iTulip -- the robotic jack-booted thugs some of you imagine. There are two structural reasons why the American military cannot be used effectively against widespread and popular dissent. First, and foremost, the military is not a route to riches. In some societies, a job in the government -- and the security forces in particular -- is the only means of getting ahead, and the way one gets ahead is through graft and corruption. The principle draw for joining the military in such countries is the opportunity to victimize one's fellow citizens (and not be a victim oneself) -- that is most certainly not the case in the US. The second reason is that the members of the American armed forces are drawn from -- and sympathetic to -- the people. They are not from a single dominant ethnic or social class, and they are not the instruments of such a class's dominance.

If hard times persist, and the government becomes the only game in town, then eventually our civil service and military might become overtly corrupt. However, that is a cultural change which would happen over time. The way I see it, people are going to get angry and start protesting long before then. Thus, if we're talking about the government's response to widespread protest now, it makes sense to talk about the securities services now.

I wouldn't bet on it... NORTHCOM has been mighty busy as of late.

All for our own safety, of course, just like the beyond-useless TSA.

metalman
09-23-08, 03:56 PM
Don't buy into the paranoia about domestic use of Blackwater or other mercenary forces.

Small unrest (a couple of guys in a remote compound) are dealt with by the FBI or ATF.

Protests are managed by local law enforcement; protests which turn violent are dealt with by local law enforcement, backed by the national guard.

On rare occasion, major protests (thousands of protestors, such as the Bonus Army of 1932) are dispersed by troops. Out of 43,000 marchers, the dead and injured included, according to Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bonus_Army):
Two veterans killed.
Two infants asphyxiated with adamsite gas.
An 11-week-old baby suffered shock from the gassing.
An 11-year-old boy, David Barscheski, was partially blinded by the gassing.
A civilian bystander was shot in the shoulder.
Veteran Christopher Bilger's ear was severed by a cavalryman.
A veteran was bayonetted in the hip.
Twelve policemen were injured by the veterans.
More than 1,000 men, women, and children were gassed with adamsite gas, including policemen, news reporters, civil residents of Washington D.C., and ambulance drivers.Contrast this to what happens when people riot in real totalitarian countries.

Widespread and popular anger would not, in my opinion, be met with force. Members of the armed forces are not -- I repeat for the n'th time on iTulip -- the robotic jack-booted thugs some of you imagine. There are two structural reasons why the American military cannot be used effectively against widespread and popular dissent. First, and foremost, the military is not a route to riches. In some societies, a job in the government -- and the security forces in particular -- is the only means of getting ahead, and the way one gets ahead is through graft and corruption. The principle draw for joining the military in such countries is the opportunity to victimize one's fellow citizens (and not be a victim oneself) -- that is most certainly not the case in the US. The second reason is that the members of the American armed forces are drawn from -- and sympathetic to -- the people. They are not from a single dominant ethnic or social class, and they are not the instruments of such a class's dominance.

If hard times persist, and the government becomes the only game in town, then eventually our civil service and military might become overtly corrupt. However, that is a cultural change which would happen over time. The way I see it, people are going to get angry and start protesting long before then. Thus, if we're talking about the government's response to widespread protest now, it makes sense to talk about the securities services now.

hat's off to you for the patience to keep explaining this. the usa has the most professional mil in the world. if we're going to have totalitarian state the forces have to be built from private armies from scratch. there isn't an obvious candidate in the usa today.

bart
09-23-08, 04:22 PM
Y'all (Bart, marvenger, and T) need to find a different word for what this is, because "fascist" means something else:
Fascism is a totalitarian nationalist political ideology and mass movement that is concerned with notions of cultural decline or decadence, and which seeks to achieve a millenarian national rebirth by exalting the nation or race, as well as promoting cults of unity, strength and purity.The reason you need to find another word is because -- like any reference to Hitler or the Nazis -- you immediately dilute and discredit your message the moment you resort to the f-word for any political development of which you do not approve.

You are right about the statist undertones of a further power grab by the executive, but you are all kinds of wrong -- and rhetorically lazy to boot -- to use that word for this circumstance.


There are two issues with your view, the first being that both the images and my opinion are that fascism has not yet arrived - but the signs are unmistakable.



The second is the more difficult one, and is the word itself. Fascism (and most heavy political terms) has multiple meanings - just check out the different definitions from different sources:

Fascism:

Encarta: Dictatorial movement: any movement, ideology, or attitude that favors dictatorial government, centralized control of private enterprise, repression of all opposition, and extreme nationalism.

Cambridge: a political system based on a very powerful leader, state control and extreme pride in country and race, and in which political opposition is not allowed

American Heritage: A system of government marked by centralization of authority under a dictator, stringent socioeconomic controls, suppression of the opposition through terror and censorship, and typically a policy of belligerent nationalism.

Wiktionary: 1. A political regime based on strong centralized government, suppressing through violence any criticism or opposition of the regime, and exalting nation, state, or religion above the individual.
2. A system of strong autocracy or oligarchy usually to the extent of bending and breaking the law, race-baiting, and advocating and supporting violence against largely unarmed populations



In other words, do some homework instead of making accusations and assumptions... and you might even consider asking for clarification if you wonder about someone's opinion... and then I also recommend you also try for a solution (in this case, an alternate word that you like better) in addition to being critical.


But at least you got the real point about power grabs and similar, and which EJ was writing about. That is the point, and quibbling over a word takes away from that very real and serious point.





As far as your mention of Blackwater and similar in another post, have you ever heard of posse comitatus?
And regarding the military, are you familiar with what happened to Rome when the legions were betrayed?

My point here again is not that either are imminent, but that the signs and portents are quite clear.

Contemptuous
09-23-08, 05:02 PM
Bart - I think you are overreacting. ASH's observation is spot on.

I also fully endorse your concern, but he's making a clear and necessary distinction. This may be the stirrings of fascism, but it is not the full article yet. ASH points out that it is risky to over-employ the term, as it really denotes the 'full bloom' article, and that the term has been very heavily overemployed as it is. We still have an electoral system that leaves multiple open doors for the populace to take back their Republic. The doors may be increasingly hidden by smoke and a bought press, but they are there, and they are manifestly open. Fascism does not display any open doors - it describes a transition which is "all sewn up". That should resolve any difficulties in the parsing of the term, which has as noted above for many years been heavily overused. In every other respect I offer full solidarity to the principles or Republican government threatened, which you are sounding the alarm for here. The process does indeed well and truly begin with the degradation of the free markets, so you point to the absolutely classic initial stirrings with your comment.

Respectfully.


Y'all (Bart, marvenger, and T) need to find a different word for what this is, because "fascist" means something else:

Fascism is a totalitarian nationalist political ideology and mass movement that is concerned with notions of cultural decline or decadence, and which seeks to achieve a millenarian national rebirth by exalting the nation or race, as well as promoting cults of unity, strength and purity.
The reason you need to find another word is because -- like any reference to Hitler or the Nazis -- you immediately dilute and discredit your message the moment you resort to the f-word for any political development of which you do not approve.

You are right about the statist undertones of a further power grab by the executive, but you are all kinds of wrong -- and rhetorically lazy to boot -- to use that word for this circumstance.

Contemptuous
09-23-08, 05:08 PM
Spot on once again ASH.



Don't buy into the paranoia about domestic use of Blackwater or other mercenary forces.

Small unrest (a couple of guys in a remote compound) are dealt with by the FBI or ATF.

Protests are managed by local law enforcement; protests which turn violent are dealt with by local law enforcement, backed by the national guard.

On rare occasion, major protests (thousands of protestors, such as the Bonus Army of 1932) are dispersed by troops. Out of 43,000 marchers, the dead and injured included, according to Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bonus_Army):

Two veterans killed.
Two infants asphyxiated with adamsite gas.
An 11-week-old baby suffered shock from the gassing.
An 11-year-old boy, David Barscheski, was partially blinded by the gassing.
A civilian bystander was shot in the shoulder.
Veteran Christopher Bilger's ear was severed by a cavalryman.
A veteran was bayonetted in the hip.
Twelve policemen were injured by the veterans.
More than 1,000 men, women, and children were gassed with adamsite gas, including policemen, news reporters, civil residents of Washington D.C., and ambulance drivers.
Contrast this to what happens when people riot in real totalitarian countries.

Widespread and popular anger would not, in my opinion, be met with force. Members of the armed forces are not -- I repeat for the n'th time on iTulip -- the robotic jack-booted thugs some of you imagine. There are two structural reasons why the American military cannot be used effectively against widespread and popular dissent. First, and foremost, the military is not a route to riches. In some societies, a job in the government -- and the security forces in particular -- is the only means of getting ahead, and the way one gets ahead is through graft and corruption. The principle draw for joining the military in such countries is the opportunity to victimize one's fellow citizens (and not be a victim oneself) -- that is most certainly not the case in the US. The second reason is that the members of the American armed forces are drawn from -- and sympathetic to -- the people. They are not from a single dominant ethnic or social class, and they are not the instruments of such a class's dominance.

If hard times persist, and the government becomes the only game in town, then eventually our civil service and military might become overtly corrupt. However, that is a cultural change which would happen over time. The way I see it, people are going to get angry and start protesting long before then. Thus, if we're talking about the government's response to widespread protest now, it makes sense to talk about the securities services now.

Charles Mackay
09-23-08, 05:35 PM
I don't think Bart's graphics are hyperbole. These words in the bailout bill mean something to every student of history and are non-trivial ...

"Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency"

ASH
09-23-08, 05:47 PM
There are two issues with your view, the first being that both the images and my opinion are that fascism has not yet arrived - but the signs are unmistakable.

The second is the more difficult one, and is the word itself. Fascism (and most heavy political terms) has multiple meanings - just check out the different definitions from different sources:

Hi Bart. I'm sorry -- I probably should have phrased my post in more deferential terms.

I don't think I'm a particularly poor student of 20th century history. You're right that I should have been more explicit. I think you will find that militant nationalism in addition to totalitarianism is a theme common to the various alternative definitions which you cite. I don't yet detect that nationalistic character in these events, although they are doubtlessly statist.

My point about rhetoric was serious. People are so used to fascists being trotted out as the quintessence of evil that their eyes glaze over when you bring them up. Unless the specific historical correspondence to conditions prevailing in Mussolini's Italy or Hitler's Germany are obvious to the reader -- and I mean the specific features most likely to stick in the mind of the reader, viz goose-stepping, flags, xenophobia, and suchlike nationalist regalia -- they will assume you are engaging in an overwrought exageration meant to demonize, rather than making a well-informed historical point. What you want them to do is engage their brain, but use of that word at this stage is unlikely to serve that end.

Charles Mackay
09-23-08, 05:50 PM
The President of Brazil, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva said on Thursday, September 18, that he has watched with "sadness" the collapse of Wall Street firms that made economic policy recommendations in emerging markets "as if they were the super intelligent and we were the poor souls."

http://www.brazzilmag.com/content/view/9933

The rest of the world considers those who run this country (Goldman, Morgan, FED, etc.) as self-interested morons. THEY ARE RIGHT!

dcarrigg
09-23-08, 05:58 PM
http://www.itulip.com/images/paulsonplan.jpg

Can Secretary Paulson be trusted? Maybe so or maybe not. But if Congress passes this measure to give him even a fraction of the power he is asking for, they may as well cancel the upcoming presidential election in the same vote.

It won’t matter anyway.

__________________

I figured that taking a look at the proposed legislation might be helpful. My comments in bold.

LEGISLATIVE PROPOSAL FOR TREASURY AUTHORITY
TO PURCHASE MORTGAGE-RELATED ASSETS


Section 1. Short Title.

This Act may be cited as ____________________.
May I suggest, "We could pay for all tuition of all college students in America this year, but we'd rather do this act of 2008."


Sec. 2. Purchases of Mortgage-Related Assets.

(a) Authority to Purchase.--The Secretary is authorized to purchase, and to make and fund commitments to purchase, on such terms and conditions as determined by the Secretary, mortgage-related assets from any financial institution having its headquarters in the United States.
The term “Secretary” means the Secretary of the Treasury. No surprise there.

The term “mortgage-related assets” means residential or commercial mortgages and any securities, obligations, or other instruments that are based on or related to such mortgages, that in each case was originated or issued on or before September 17, 2008.

That casts a pretty wide net.


(b) Necessary Actions.--The Secretary is authorized to take such actions as the Secretary deems necessary to carry out the authorities in this Act, including, without limitation:

(1) appointing such employees as may be required to carry out the authorities in this Act and defining their duties;

I can think of a few folks from Goldman Sachs who are looking for work...maybe the good Secretary will hire them?


(2) entering into contracts, including contracts for services authorized by section 3109 of title 5, United States Code, without regard to any other provision of law regarding public contracts;
Here come the high-paid contractors.
http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode05/usc_sec_05_00003109----000-.html


(3) designating financial institutions as financial agents of the Government, and they shall perform all such reasonable duties related to this Act as financial agents of the Government as may be required of them;

Because why shouldn't Morgan Stanley be able to buy junk mortgages from itself with the federal checkbook? Actually, maybe you could deem them contractors at the same time they're drawing a private sector salary if you combine this with the provision above...there's a good deal.


(4) establishing vehicles that are authorized, subject to supervision by the Secretary, to purchase mortgage-related assets and issue obligations; and
If there is anything we should take from this crisis, it's that self-regulation is always the best way to go, and never leads to abuse of power.
(5) issuing such regulations and other guidance as may be necessary or appropriate to define terms or carry out the authorities of this Act.
Because you wouldn't want to list specifics right in the law, would you?


Sec. 3. Considerations.

In exercising the authorities granted in this Act, the Secretary shall take into consideration means for--

(1) providing stability or preventing disruption to the financial markets or banking system; and

(2) protecting the taxpayer.Again, self-regulation is always best.


Sec. 4. Reports to Congress.

Within three months of the first exercise of the authority granted in section 2(a), and semiannually thereafter, the Secretary shall report to the Committees on the Budget, Financial Services, and Ways and Means of the House of Representatives and the Committees on the Budget, Finance, and Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs of the Senate with respect to the authorities exercised under this Act and the considerations required by section 3.Since self-regulation is best, we wouldn't want congress or the CBO to have direct oversight...they must merely be reported to. Besides, semiannual reports cannot override the two year life of this bill.

Sec. 5. Rights; Management; Sale of Mortgage-Related Assets.

(a) Exercise of Rights.--The Secretary may, at any time, exercise any rights received in connection with mortgage-related assets purchased under this Act.
Reestablishing the executive authority of the secretary over trillions of dollars (ahem...bonars).


(b) Management of Mortgage-Related Assets.--The Secretary shall have authority to manage mortgage-related assets purchased under this Act, including revenues and portfolio risks therefrom.
Ibid...plus a little shout out to self-regulation.
(c) Sale of Mortgage-Related Assets.--The Secretary may, at any time, upon terms and conditions and at prices determined by the Secretary, sell, or enter into securities loans, repurchase transactions or other financial transactions in regard to, any mortgage-related asset purchased under this Act.
Ibid


(d) Application of Sunset to Mortgage-Related Assets.--The authority of the Secretary to hold any mortgage-related asset purchased under this Act before the termination date in section 9, or to purchase or fund the purchase of a mortgage-related asset under a commitment entered into before the termination date in section 9, is not subject to the provisions of section 9.
The two-year limit of the bill might be a little constricting on the powers of the secretary, but two years should be enough time to negotiate decades-long commitments that the American people are stuck with long after the bill's potential expiration.


Sec. 6. Maximum Amount of Authorized Purchases.


The Secretary’s authority to purchase mortgage-related assets under this Act shall be limited to $700,000,000,000 outstanding at any one time
With any luck, we should be able to keep a sustained balance sheet of $700,000,000,000 at any one time for a good long time through long-term negotiated deals.


Sec. 7. Funding.

For the purpose of the authorities granted in this Act, and for the costs of administering those authorities, the Secretary may use the proceeds of the sale of any securities issued under chapter 31 of title 31, United States Code, and the purposes for which securities may be issued under chapter 31 of title 31, United States Code, are extended to include actions authorized by this Act, including the payment of administrative expenses. Any funds expended for actions authorized by this Act, including the payment of administrative expenses, shall be deemed appropriated at the time of such expenditure.
http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode31/usc_sup_01_31_08_III_10_31.html


Sec. 8. Review.

Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency.

There can be ABSOLUTLEY no questioning the self-regulating ability of the secretary. We would not want the courts to review laws, would we? That might be constitutional.


Sec. 9. Termination of Authority.

The authorities under this Act, with the exception of authorities granted in sections 2(b)(5), 5 and 7, shall terminate two years from the date of enactment of this Act.
The authority's gone, but the damage can remain for a good long time.


Sec. 10. Increase in Statutory Limit on the Public Debt.

Subsection (b) of section 3101 of title 31, United States Code, is amended by striking out the dollar limitation contained in such subsection and inserting in lieu thereof $11,315,000,000,000.
$10 Trillion strong...and growing. Take that flinstone's vitamins!


Sec. 11. Credit Reform.

The costs of purchases of mortgage-related assets made under section 2(a) of this Act shall be determined as provided under the Federal Credit Reform Act of 1990, as applicable.
http://www.dunwalke.com/gideon/legal/background/DesidnBk/credref.htm
OMB can budget for the damage...hurray!


Sec. 12. Definitions.

For purposes of this section, the following definitions shall apply:

(1) Mortgage-Related Assets.--The term “mortgage-related assets” means residential or commercial mortgages and any securities, obligations, or other instruments that are based on or related to such mortgages, that in each case was originated or issued on or before September 17, 2008.

(2) Secretary.--The term “Secretary” means the Secretary of the Treasury.

(3) United States.--The term “United States” means the States, territories, and possessions of the United States and the District of Columbia.

GRG55
09-23-08, 10:55 PM
...One US representative reared up on his hind legs to suggest that perhaps, just maybe, the Minister might recuse himself from these proceedings as his former employer is counted among the now very limited two item menu of investment banks remaining of a 150 year tradition of capitalism in America, Goldman Sacks and JP Morgan, all other competitors now summarily wiped out. Also, and, well, gee (and – gosh) while we're on the subject, they aren't even investment banks anymore. The Fed on Monday made the two winners of the US Investment Bank Survivor Show – presto! – into bank holding companies so that they may swallow what is left of the assets of 1,000 or so bank failures, as estimated by reliable sources, waiting in the wings.

Is that, you know, like, constitutional? ...




And now one of those two has conveniently secured $5 B of Buffett's money [at the usual healthy Berkshire premium]. Let the games begin...:p



Goldman eyes IndyMac to build bank network
By Tim Catts, FinancialWeek.com
September 23, 2008, 9:55 AM EST

Goldman Sachs may target the assets of failed banks such as IndyMac Bank as it transforms from the biggest investment bank on Wall Street into the fourth-largest bank holding company in the United States.

“We plan to build our banking business organically and by buying retail deposits and bank assets in the wholesale market, not through opening branches,” a Goldman Sachs spokesman said.

“For example, the FDIC is selling IndyMac assets and those might be the sort of thing we’d be interested in looking at.”

Fifteen banks with deposits of roughly $30 billion have failed since the beginning of 2007, according to data from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. With more than $19 billion in deposits, IndyMac was by far the largest.

The FDIC took control of the thrift after regulators shut it down in July.

With 117 more banks holding $78 billion in assets on the FDIC’s list of “problem institutions,” Goldman could have plenty of additional opportunities to snap up deposits in the months ahead.

When a bank nears failure, the FDIC typically approaches potential buyers who have told the agency they would be interested in buying the assets of troubled institutions, said spokesman David Barr.

Most of the coordination of the sale, including bidding by potential buyers, takes place before the bank goes under, typically on a Friday at the close of business. After state or federal regulators shutter the bank, it enters receivership and the FDIC transfers its assets to the buyer.

IndyMac is different because the FDIC acts as the thrift’s conservator, keeping it running while selling off its assets. Part of the mission of IndyMac Federal Bank, as the government-run company is known, is to “maximize the value of the institution for a future sale,” according to an FDIC statement.

One of the benefits of buying bank deposits from the FDIC—instead of merging with or acquiring an operational bank—is that the regulator sells “clean” assets, Mr. Barr said. When two banks merge, or when a bank buys another bank, it’s usually saddled with the target’s liabilities and debts, not to mention potentially toxic mortgage-related securities or other real estate investments that could be sitting on the balance sheet. “It’s a fairly good deal for the assuming bank, because not only do they get an instant bank, with branches and employees and deposit customers, but it’s a clean bank,” Mr. Barr said. “The receivership is like a filtering process. All the troubles and headaches that caused the bank to fail are left behind with the FDIC in receivership, so the acquiring bank gets clean assets.”

jtabeb
09-23-08, 11:42 PM
hat's off to you for the patience to keep explaining this. the usa has the most professional mil in the world. if we're going to have totalitarian state the forces have to be built from private armies from scratch. there isn't an obvious candidate in the usa today.

They (Military) are pissed too, for what is worth;) (ALL of us, based on everyone I've talked to about it.)

P.S. Please no more comments about me, a plane, GPS coordinates, and Bernanke or Paulson, I might get my TSCI revoked!

bart
09-23-08, 11:58 PM
Hi Bart. I'm sorry -- I probably should have phrased my post in more deferential terms.

I don't think I'm a particularly poor student of 20th century history. You're right that I should have been more explicit. I think you will find that militant nationalism in addition to totalitarianism is a theme common to the various alternative definitions which you cite. I don't yet detect that nationalistic character in these events, although they are doubtlessly statist.

My point about rhetoric was serious. People are so used to fascists being trotted out as the quintessence of evil that their eyes glaze over when you bring them up. Unless the specific historical correspondence to conditions prevailing in Mussolini's Italy or Hitler's Germany are obvious to the reader -- and I mean the specific features most likely to stick in the mind of the reader, viz goose-stepping, flags, xenophobia, and suchlike nationalist regalia -- they will assume you are engaging in an overwrought exageration meant to demonize, rather than making a well-informed historical point. What you want them to do is engage their brain, but use of that word at this stage is unlikely to serve that end.


Fair enough and understood, and I do believe you are and were serious.

I think the use of the word is still quite valid, especially in the context of some of the other definitions of it and also in context of today's more Orwellian world.

If someone object to it and blows it off since they're not seeing goose stepping & similar right now, I submit that (in the context of the German "experience") they are echoing or rhyming with the majority in Germany in the early to mid 1930s. Glazed over eyes and lack of brain usage were endemic during that period.

And yes of course that image and the other one were a bit over the top, but they also do represent the very real dangers and signs since prior to the Patriot Act and as also represented by items like Executive order 11004, 11051 and 11921. The majority does not see the many parallels, sad to say.

I also submit that it takes but one or two events to convert the country to the militant nationalism you noted as necessary, and also that the recent $700 billion "event" is the socialism half of national socialism.



It's not unlike inflation and money supply control, as Keynes noted (emphasis mine):
"By this means government may secretly and unobserved, confiscate the wealth of the people, and not one man in a million will detect the theft."
-- John Maynard Keynes, in his book "THE ECONOMIC CONSEQUENCES OF THE PEACE" (1920). (this is in the context of speaking about the ability to control money supply)





Kipling also touched on the area:

The Gods of the Copybook Headings
by Rudyard Kipling

I PASS through my incarnations in every age and race,
I make my proper prostrations to the Gods of the Market Place.
Peering through reverent fingers I watch them flourish and fall,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings, I notice, outlast them all.

We were living in trees when they met us. They showed us each in turn
That Water would certainly wet us, as Fire would certainly burn:
But we found them lacking in Uplift, Vision and Breadth of Mind,
So we left them to teach the Gorillas while we followed the March of Mankind.

We moved as the Spirit listed. They never altered their pace,
Being neither cloud nor wind-borne like the Gods of the Market Place,
But they always caught up with our progress, and presently word would come
That a tribe had been wiped off its icefield, or the lights had gone out in Rome.

With the Hopes that our World is built on they were utterly out of touch,
They denied that the Moon was Stilton; they denied she was even Dutch;
They denied that Wishes were Horses; they denied that a Pig had Wings;
So we worshipped the Gods of the Market Who promised these beautiful things.

When the Cambrian measures were forming, They promised perpetual peace.
They swore, if we gave them our weapons, that the wars of the tribes would cease.
But when we disarmed They sold us and delivered us bound to our foe,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "Stick to the Devil you know."

On the first Feminian Sandstones we were promised the Fuller Life
(Which started by loving our neighbour and ended by loving his wife)
Till our women had no more children and the men lost reason and faith,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "The Wages of Sin is Death."

In the Carboniferous Epoch we were promised abundance for all,
By robbing selected Peter to pay for collective Paul;
But, though we had plenty of money, there was nothing our money could buy,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "If you don't work you die."

Then the Gods of the Market tumbled, and their smooth-tongued wizards withdrew
And the hearts of the meanest were humbled and began to believe it was true
That All is not Gold that Glitters, and Two and Two make Four
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings limped up to explain it once more.

As it will be in the future, it was at the birth of Man
There are only four things certain since Social Progress began.
That the Dog returns to his Vomit and the Sow returns to her Mire,
And the burnt Fool's bandaged finger goes wobbling back to the Fire;

And that after this is accomplished, and the brave new world begins
When all men are paid for existing and no man must pay for his sins,
As surely as Water will wet us, as surely as Fire will bum,
The Gods of the Copybook Headings with terror and slaughter return.

bart
09-24-08, 12:00 AM
Bart - I think you are overreacting. ASH's observation is spot on.

I also fully endorse your concern, but he's making a clear and necessary distinction. This may be the stirrings of fascism, but it is not the full article yet. ASH points out that it is risky to over-employ the term, as it really denotes the 'full bloom' article, and that the term has been very heavily overemployed as it is. We still have an electoral system that leaves multiple open doors for the populace to take back their Republic. The doors may be increasingly hidden by smoke and a bought press, but they are there, and they are manifestly open. Fascism does not display any open doors - it describes a transition which is "all sewn up". That should resolve any difficulties in the parsing of the term, which has as noted above for many years been heavily overused. In every other respect I offer full solidarity to the principles or Republican government threatened, which you are sounding the alarm for here. The process does indeed well and truly begin with the degradation of the free markets, so you point to the absolutely classic initial stirrings with your comment.

Respectfully.


Your comments greatly sadden me.

c1ue
09-24-08, 12:19 AM
I'm not saying Hitler is about to spring on us, but think of the situation this way:

Number of Iraqis killed since the invasion:

Anywhere from 50K to over 1M.

Number of US soldiers in Iraq: 200K give or take.

Is it safe to say that - on average - each soldier or platoon of American soldiers has killed a person?

Sure, these troops are carrying out the orders they were given and are actively being shot at.

But the fact is that the ability to kill in the US armed forces is already well tested.

I certainly hope there are never serious riots across this nation, but as I've said many times before: we haven't seen true suffering since the Civil War, and we just might before this is all over.

With true suffering, the rioters aren't going to be a gang of angry Watts minorities burning down their slums. That's good since it is harder to shoot otherwise decent citizens driven beyond endurance by circumstances.

But the French Revolution is a good example of just how bad things could get. And Napoleon gained power from that revolution and used it to expend almost every French male of remotely military age in attempting to conquer Europe.

metalman
09-24-08, 12:49 AM
I'm not saying Hitler is about to spring on us, but think of the situation this way:

Number of Iraqis killed since the invasion:

Anywhere from 50K to over 1M.

Number of US soldiers in Iraq: 200K give or take.

Is it safe to say that - on average - each soldier or platoon of American soldiers has killed a person?

Sure, these troops are carrying out the orders they were given and are actively being shot at.

But the fact is that the ability to kill in the US armed forces is already well tested.

I certainly hope there are never serious riots across this nation, but as I've said many times before: we haven't seen true suffering since the Civil War, and we just might before this is all over.

With true suffering, the rioters aren't going to be a gang of angry Watts minorities burning down their slums. That's good since it is harder to shoot otherwise decent citizens driven beyond endurance by circumstances.

But the French Revolution is a good example of just how bad things could get. And Napoleon gained power from that revolution and used it to expend almost every French male of remotely military age in attempting to conquer Europe.

check list to revolution...

1. no beer
2. no tv
3. no buddies to drink beer and watch tv with
4. no money to buy beer
5. no rent for place to hang with buddies to drink beer and watch tv

this person is at high risk to take part in a revolution... but!!!

fallacy: the poor 'rise up'.

no they don't. they wallow in filth and misery until they die without leadership.

marvenger
09-24-08, 03:05 AM
don't wait for the media to tell you its fascism before you decide its all 'sewn up'

marvenger
09-24-08, 03:07 AM
you scare me

Chris
09-24-08, 03:14 AM
check list to revolution...

1. no beer
2. no tv
3. no buddies to drink beer and watch tv with
4. no money to buy beer
5. no rent for place to hang with buddies to drink beer and watch tv

this person is at high risk to take part in a revolution... but!!!

fallacy: the poor 'rise up'.

no they don't. they wallow in filth and misery until they die without leadership.

Spot on. Just like socialism which claims to benefit the poor but instead enriches the intellectual class (see modern Britain for the latest incarnation), this proposed bill will introduce a new form of totalitarianism but one without the pretence of benevolence. And the poor will again get it in the neck.

Without wanting to detract from the topic of this thread too much, but weren't the Nazis a movement of the Left and therefore not strictly fascist (as it is commonly understood)?

marvenger
09-24-08, 03:35 AM
First, and foremost, the military is not a route to riches. In some societies, a job in the government -- and the security forces in particular -- is the only means of getting ahead, and the way one gets ahead is through graft and corruption. The principle draw for joining the military in such countries is the opportunity to victimize one's fellow citizens (and not be a victim oneself) -- that is most certainly not the case in the US. The second reason is that the members of the American armed forces are drawn from -- and sympathetic to -- the people. They are not from a single dominant ethnic or social class, and they are not the instruments of such a class's dominance.

That's a great point and how all government should be IMO. Limited pay and no private contracting. What the government does the government does in a non profit way. Australia's new conservative party leader is the ex chairman of goldman sachs in Australia which I find particularly scary given Hank's policies.


If hard times persist, and the government becomes the only game in town, then eventually our civil service and military might become overtly corrupt. However, that is a cultural change which would happen over time. The way I see it, people are going to get angry and start protesting long before then. Thus, if we're talking about the government's response to widespread protest now, it makes sense to talk about the securities services now.

I hope you're right. Gonna start a security services monitoring thread?

*T*
09-24-08, 06:08 AM
Ash - I choose my words carefully. Corporatism=fascism according to Mussolini.

Nonetheless, many abroad view American society as being or having become become militaristic, nationalistic and structurally racist.
How many countries deploy troops on home soil (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Posse_Comitatus_Act)? 'Support the troops right or wrong'? Have leadership that barefacedly lies to the people? Implement kidnapping (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extraordinary_rendition) and torture? Believe in a mythological version of history that gives them special place in history? Use shock and awe (i.e. terror) tactics to accelerate change?

It is a long list, but company that I believe the US should not be keeping.

I am not saying the US is already actually fascist, just that there is a clear and present danger of a coup, i.e. a paradigm shift; a change of regime. The trends are clear and in place. There are many things I love and admire about the US, and I hate to see them destroyed. I am not usually given to hyperbole, I am just very sad and angered by what is happening. It is harmful and exploitative.

Luke - Hitler was elected. 'He was a strong leader for difficult times.'

EJ - sorry if this is a thread hijack. I suppose the fact that an economic and market forum has become political illustrates the point, though.

jtabeb
09-24-08, 04:17 PM
Ash - I choose my words carefully. Corporatism=fascism according to Mussolini.

Nonetheless, many abroad view American society as being or having become become militaristic, nationalistic and structurally racist.
How many countries deploy troops on home soil (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Posse_Comitatus_Act)? 'Support the troops right or wrong'? Have leadership that barefacedly lies to the people? Implement kidnapping (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extraordinary_rendition) and torture? Believe in a mythological version of history that gives them special place in history? Use shock and awe (i.e. terror) tactics to accelerate change?

It is a long list, but company that I believe the US should not be keeping.

I am not saying the US is already actually fascist, just that there is a clear and present danger of a coup, i.e. a paradigm shift; a change of regime. The trends are clear and in place. There are many things I love and admire about the US, and I hate to see them destroyed. I am not usually given to hyperbole, I am just very sad and angered by what is happening. It is harmful and exploitative.

Luke - Hitler was elected. 'He was a strong leader for difficult times.'

EJ - sorry if this is a thread hijack. I suppose the fact that an economic and market forum has become political illustrates the point, though.

Worry, but people are getting it thank god. This is the most promising I've seen this country act collectively (except Bush Whitehouse save Gates, Fed and Treas). I am PROUD of the way americans have responed in the last three days. I just HOPE they keep it up.

Cautiously optimisitc? Me? That should tell you something:D

t12357
09-24-08, 04:18 PM
http://www.democracynow.org/2008/9/22/headlines


Army Unit to Deploy in October for Domestic Operations

Beginning in October, the Army plans to station an active unit inside the United States for the first time to serve as an on-call federal response in times of emergency. The 3rd Infantry Division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team has spent thirty-five of the last sixty months in Iraq, but now the unit is training for domestic operations. The unit will soon be under the day-to-day control of US Army North, the Army service component of Northern Command. The Army Times reports this new mission marks the first time an active unit has been given a dedicated assignment to Northern Command. The paper says the Army unit may be called upon to help with civil unrest and crowd control. The soldiers are learning to use so-called nonlethal weapons designed to subdue unruly or dangerous individuals and crowds.

jtabeb
09-24-08, 04:35 PM
[quote=*T*;49818]Ash - I choose my words carefully. Corporatism=fascism according to Mussolini.

quote]


That's the ESSENTAIL POINT, and why, given the present potential restructuring of the country, the risk of Corporatism=fascism descent is extreem.

EXTREEM vigilance is required! Don't doubt that. This is not Hyperbole, not scare tactics, and not exaggeration. The historical parallels are too prominent to ignore. Do so at your perile.

(I officially retract my previous post):(

The Outback Oracle
09-24-08, 05:18 PM
I think Ash is aware of the dangers. We're basically talking about a name. I used to use the word fascist to describe some things i did not like. Then I read "The Third Reich" by Michael Burleigh. Facism as paractised was so horrible that I cannot use the word to describe any other current conspiracy.

The word 'Facism' is often used these days. I believe the common use of the word lowers the effectiveness of warnings of its actual rise.

My comments here should not be interpreted as any criticism of anyone's stance or warnings on the matter.

I do recommend 'The Third Reich' to anyone who has serious concerns. The insidious rise of facism in germany and the total horror makes it compelling reading and shakes your soul.

metalman
09-24-08, 08:48 PM
I think Ash is aware of the dangers. We're basically talking about a name. I used to use the word fascist to describe some things i did not like. Then I read "The Third Reich" by Michael Burleigh. Facism as paractised was so horrible that I cannot use the word to describe any other current conspiracy.

The word 'Facism' is often used these days. I believe the common use of the word lowers the effectiveness of warnings of its actual rise.

My comments here should not be interpreted as any criticism of anyone's stance or warnings on the matter.

I do recommend 'The Third Reich' to anyone who has serious concerns. The insidious rise of facism in germany and the total horror makes it compelling reading and shakes your soul.

how'd this turn into a thread about fascism?

anyhow... we are all reacting to the fact that we are getting screwed and there appears to be nothing we can do about it.

then we think, well, if they can screw us like this with impunity, why not throw us all in prison if we don't go along with the next scheme to separate us from our money?

then the imagination wanders... too far.

it's not like there's nothing we can do, but it is true that there is nothing we can do for nothing... for free.

it's going to cost us... for some of us our freedoms, our wealth.

but it has to get a lot worse first.

bart
09-24-08, 09:37 PM
how'd this turn into a thread about fascism?

anyhow... we are all reacting to the fact that we are getting screwed and there appears to be nothing we can do about it.


I probably went overboard with those graphics in responding to "the government run casino" in the thread headline, but my point is that it is time to stand up and do whatever can be done. The dangers are real and abundant, both of the *ism in question and also hyperinflation, currency controls, "social unrest" etc.

Even just faxing or calling one's Congress critters and expressing opinions, with or without rants, beats the hell out of nothing. Emailing has the least weight and effect but its also better than nothing.
My marketing & PR training is showing but - "What will be your answer when someone in the future asks if you even spoke up?"


And continue in CYA mode on one's net worth and safety.

Contemptuous
09-24-08, 09:41 PM
Your comments greatly sadden me.

OK Bart. Your point is very well taken. I just came across this post by Jtabeb and get a glimpse of potential underlying risks in the issue - described here in a nutshell.



Quote:
<TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=6 width="100%" border=0><TBODY><TR><TD class=alt2 style="BORDER-RIGHT: 1px inset; BORDER-TOP: 1px inset; BORDER-LEFT: 1px inset; BORDER-BOTTOM: 1px inset">Originally Posted by $#* http://www.itulip.com/forums/images/buttons/viewpost.gif (http://www.itulip.com/forums/showthread.php?p=49978#post49978)
If we do nothing, they will do it again...

Sheeple don't deserve to be free, because they are happy to be confined to their assigned pastures (giving them an illusion of choice), well guarded by shepherd dogs which are ready to round the poor dumb animals whenever the shepherd wants to milk them, decides it's time for shearing the wool or loading the slaughter house truck.
</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>
It's a little scary, but that's the way the Military Brass always describes our role in society - sheep dogs. Seriously, it was in a speech by Gen David Goldfein. We had to read his book "Sharing Success, Owning Failure: Preparing to Command in the Twenty-First Century Air Force," and then listen to him speak as part of our intermediate level officer development curriculum. The "shepherd" is the Gov according to the brass, BTW.

raja
09-25-08, 10:43 AM
I'm not saying Hitler is about to spring on us, but think of the situation this way:

Number of Iraqis killed since the invasion:

Anywhere from 50K to over 1M.

Number of US soldiers in Iraq: 200K give or take.

Is it safe to say that - on average - each soldier or platoon of American soldiers has killed a person?


Most Iraqi's were killed by other Iraqi's or Al-Qaida sympathizers.

c1ue
09-25-08, 10:58 AM
Most Iraqi's were killed by other Iraqi's or Al-Qaida sympathizers.

Certainly true.

But unless Iraqis are doing for 90% of the killing or more, we're still talking a range of 20K/200K Iraqi deaths caused by American troops.

Still seems like a lot to me.

phirang
09-25-08, 11:05 AM
Certainly true.

But unless Iraqis are doing for 90% of the killing or more, we're still talking a range of 20K/200K Iraqi deaths caused by American troops.

Still seems like a lot to me.

My friends who fought in Iraq said there was no shortage of "collateral" damage.

jtabeb
09-29-08, 04:50 PM
http://www.itulip.com/images/paulsonplan.jpgStock market falls 372 points, gold back over $900. Another ho-hum day at the government run casino

Gold and oil investors on the other side of the trade roared back after cowering in the corner for a few weeks after the US Treasury, the Bank of Japan and a few other friends of the Fed ganged up on the short financials/long commodities trade popular among the world's hedge funds, desperate to protect their clients' wealth from the ravages of currency value destruction. That intervention sent oil and gold tumbling, but with the prospect of an exchange of a trillion bonars (http://www.itulip.com/glossary.htm#Bonar) for a pile of now worthless high-concept securities, the trade is back with a vengeance.

Over the weekend our Finance Minister Hank Paulson (http://www.itulip.com/forums/showthread.php?p=44283#post44283) poured out promises of a quick fix and return to "normal" – endless asset price inflation and over-consumption funded by it. All it will cost is the next generation’s savings on top of the current generation’s already committed.

In for a penny in for a dollar.

Yesterday our Congress shocked us not only by showing up for work but showing the audacity to step up to – gasp! – ask questions about the Treasury's power grab. Here on C-SPAN, US Congressman Peter DeFazio puts on a rousing Mr. Smith Goes to Washington performance. The golden key is a nice touch.

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<embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/ANGsBNMY1_c&hl=en&fs=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" height="344" width="425"></OBJECT>


For the first time since this crisis started in the spring of 2007 Congress pushed back on our Finance Minister’s demands. If not directly confronting or even doubting they at least wondered aloud why we need allow him and his unknown successors and assorted minions to do whatever they deem necessary for a period of two years, at the pleasure of the secretary’s office, to return the US financial system to its rightful place as the world’s most deep and transparent, even as the veneer of trust flakes off to reveal shallowness and opacity. As Marshall McLuhan once said, "Mud sometimes gives the illusion of depth."

One US representative reared up on his hind legs to suggest that perhaps, just maybe, the Minister might recuse himself from these proceedings as his former employer is counted among the now very limited two item menu of investment banks remaining of a 150 year tradition of capitalism in America, Goldman Sacks and JP Morgan, all other competitors now summarily wiped out. Also, and, well, gee (and – gosh) while we're on the subject, they aren't even investment banks anymore. The Fed on Monday made the two winners of the US Investment Bank Survivor Show – presto! – into bank holding companies so that they may swallow what is left of the assets of 1,000 or so bank failures, as estimated by reliable sources, waiting in the wings.

Is that, you know, like, constitutional?

Last time this happened, after the Savings & Loan fiasco, the government created the Resolution Trust Corporation so that any value that might possibly be recovered in the assets of those Frankenstein creations of deregulation and corruption stood a chance of recapture by tax payers, to minimize the damage. Fair value for those assets was assured by their sale on the open market. Not this time. We may never know what Goldman and JP Morgan will in the future pay for the assets that they are now politically lined up to receive at a discount. Of course, the truth is that most of the securitized debt is completely worthless – so should we complain that any value they might have will be snagged by private banks behind closed doors?

Too late now. Instead of decision making authority Congress will demand transparency, dutiful reporting of decisions after the fact.

Transparency. There’s a word I’d like to see banished from the finance lexicon. Let’s replace it with a venerable yet less popular word: honesty.

Enron was transparent. It provided all of the data it was asked for in unfathomable volumes and right on time. US accounting firms with once honored names swore by them.

But they were all lying.

Can Secretary Paulson be trusted? Maybe so or maybe not. But if Congress passes this measure to give him even a fraction of the power he is asking for, they may as well cancel the upcoming presidential election in the same vote.

It won’t matter anyway.

iTulip Select (http://www.itulip.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1032) subscribers can read our extensive analysis published today on the possibility and implications of capital and currency price controls in:

US exchange rate and capital controls or bust? (http://www.itulip.com/forums/showthread.php?p=49722#post49722)
September 23, 2008, iTulip

When inflows become outflows: Avoiding the Sudden Stop at the end of the multi-decade long American capital flow bonanza.

Moreover, it may well be asked whether we can take it for granted that a return to freedom of exchanges is really a question of time. Even if the reply were in the affirmative, it is safe to assume that after a period of freedom the regime of control will be restored as a result of the next economic crisis.
—Paul Einzig, Exchange Control, MacMillan and Company, 1934

Exchange rate and capital controls are viewed by our modern economics orthodoxy as the retrograde policy of desperate third world countries that can’t hack free markets. However, history teaches us to not discount the possibility that major economies even in our current times may use them as a last resort. Each day the front page of the newspaper is plastered with reports of one last resort measure after another. It’s time to give the possibility of exchange rate and currency controls serious consideration. More ($ Subscription) … (http://www.itulip.com/forums/showthread.php?p=49722#post49722)
iTulip Select (http://www.itulip.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1032): The Investment Thesis for the Next Cycle™
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__________________

I am proud that Peter Defazzio is my congressman.

Here is his response to me on the Bush Adminsitration's bail-out proposal.

Dear Mr. Tabeb:

Thank you for contacting me about the Bush Administration bailout. I am vehemently opposed to this bailout.

I was the first Member of Congress to take to the House floor and stand up in opposition to this $700 billion bailout. The financial crisis we face today does not need to be resolved by forking over $700 billion from the taxpayer to the "Masters of the Universe" on Wall Street.

The fundamental premise of the $700 billion Bush Administration bailout is flawed, reckless, and foolish. It is flawed because it is not clear it will achieve its stated objective of injecting commercial banks with liquidity and it ignores the needs of main street America, it is reckless because there are better alternatives, and it is foolish because giving away $700 billion will limit our ability to deal with the myriad of other problems we face such as healthcare, energy independence, and job creation.

To put the sheer audacity of this bailout plan in perspective, a compromise has been talked about that reduces the initial payments to "only $250 billion". $250 billion would more than double our investment in bridges, highways, transit, and rail in the United States for five years. Investing in infrastructure creates jobs and stimulates the economy. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, for every $1.25 billion we invest in infrastructure, we will create over 30,000 jobs and $6 billion in additional economic activity. In President Roosevelt's Works Progress Administration, we invested in building roads, bridges, dams, hydroelectric systems and other public works projects to mend our nation's broken economy. That money trickled up to Wall Street from Main Street and rebuilt our economy. We did not just throw money at Wall Street with the hopes that the taxpayer might some day be paid back.

I think Congress should respond, but the basic premise of the Bush Administration bailout is flawed. Almost 200 economists wrote to Congress stating "As economists, we want to express to Congress our great concern for the plan proposed by Treasury Secretary Paulson"[1]. The letter went on to raise the issues of fairness, ambiguity, and the long-term effects. The former chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp in the Reagan Administration wrote, "I have doubts that the $700 billion bailout, if enacted, would work. Would banks really be willing to part with the loans, and would the government be able to sell them in the marketplace on terms that the taxpayers would find acceptable?"[2] And James Galbraith, an economist at the University of Texas, has asked "Now that all five big investment banks -- Bear Stearns, Merrill Lynch, Lehman Brothers, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley -- have disappeared or morphed into regular banks, a question arises. Is this bailout still necessary?"[3] I believe the answer is No. I have called on my colleagues to slow down this debate and seriously debate the alternative proposals.
For example, many economists have argued that directly helping mortgage holders save their houses would be astronomically cheaper and a more effective in resolving this crisis. And helping working Americans restructure their homer mortgage will increase the value of Wall Street's depreciated assets. As the New York Time opinioned recently:

"We could make a strong moral argument that the government has a greater responsibility to help homeowners than it does to bail out Wall Street. But we don't have to. Basic economics argues for a robust plan to stanch foreclosures and thereby protect the taxpayers ."[4]

Another serious consequence is the $700 billion hole in the budget deficit this bailout will create. The next administration, Democratic or Republican, will be unable to initiate new proposals as it charts a new course for our nation. The Bush tax cuts blew the surplus created by the last Democratic Administration and the Bush Administration bailout will prevent the next administration from implementing its mandate.

My biggest concern of this bailout is who pays the $700 billion tab. The $700 billion is to protect Wall Street investors, therefore the same Wall Street investors should pay for this infusion of taxpayer money. I have proposed a minimal securities transfer tax of ? of one percent. A securities transfer tax would have a negligible impact on the average investor and provide a disincentive to high volume, speculative short-term traders. Similar tax proposals have been supported by many esteemed economists such as Larry Summers, John Maynard Keynes and Nobel prize winners Joseph Stiglitz and James Tobin.

There is considerable precedent for this. The United States had a similar tax from 1914 to 1966. The Revenue Act of 1914 levied a 0.2% tax on all sales or transfers of stock. In 1932, Congress more than doubled the tax to help finance economic reconstruction programs during the Great Depression. In 1987, Speaker of the House Jim Wright offered his support for a financial transaction tax. And today the UK has a modest financial transaction tax of 0.5 percent. This is a reasonable approach to protecting taxpayers and ensuring the federal budget doesn't fall further into the fiscal hole.

I will continue to challenge this bailout every step of the way. Again, thanks for reaching out to me. Please keep in touch.


________________________________
[1]
http://faculty.chicagogsb.edu/john.cochrane/research/Papers/mortgage_protest.htm (http://faculty.chicagogsb.edu/john.cochrane/research/Papers/mortgage_protest.htm)
[2]
Washington Post. A Better Way to Aid Banks. William M. Isaac. Sept 27, 2008. A19.
[3]
Washington Post. A Bailout We Don't Need. James K. Galbraith. Sept. 25, 2008. A19
[4]
New York Times. Editorial. What About the Rest of Us? Sept., 26, 2008. A26.

Sincerely,
Rep. Peter DeFazio
Fourth District, OREGON
******Please do not respond directly to this email*****
Please submit further correspondence from http://www.house.gov/writerep (http://www.house.gov/writerep)