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Montecristo Captain Quixote


The World Line of the Horizon Star

Some would say I was a lost man in a lost world

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Montecristo Captain Quixote

Govco: I believe in miracles, since you came along... (I don't think so)

It's bright and sunny and reasonably temperate out this morning. March is doing its thing and going out like a lamb, apparently. I have no complaints on that score. California "winters" are mild, but I'm still tired of the season, such as it is here. I'm certainly ready for spring, and fortunately, the weather is cooperating.

The ex and I had a nice two hour discussion about various things last night. Mostly it concerned our daughters but the conversation strayed over various and sundry things as it has ever done between the two of us. We get along much better, in some ways, now that we're not married to each other. I think I'm fortunate in that respect.

I have never had many nightmares but the earliest one I can remember was one I had when I was of preschool age. It is of my mother and I in the car being chased by...flying shrimp. These weren't live giant, nasty, man-eating, crustacean monster shrimp. No, they were normal, small, dead, batter-fried shrimp...that could fly out of their basket and attack you. How incredibly silly. They flew up the tailpipe of the car as we were trying to drive away and the engine died. Naturally, I don't remember too much of the dream. What could an appetizer possibly do to you? I was even too young to even young to have known how they insidiously tempt you to eat them and then get into your body where, years later, they cause you to die of atherosclerosis. That was on my mind this morning.

Last night, on the way home, I saw a dark gray Mazda CX-9 with a license plate that read: "N2 CGARS." This morning, on the way to the shower, I wondered if the owner meant in the Bill Clinton sense of being "into cigars." Every once in awhile I see vans with government plates that have a G62 prefix to them. I got curious this morning and did some looking into the codes. I found an answer on a page made by someone called "Cloth Monkey." G62 designates a General Services Administration 3/4 ton 4x4 cargo truck.

This morning, while indisposed in the restroom, I heard someone over in the urinal area relieving himself in spurts, like firing a SuperSoaker squirt gun into the bottom of the urinal: spurt... pause... spurt... pause... etc. He got in a dozen or so shots before deciding he was finished. The way I figure it, either it was involuntary, and I'd say someone should be getting his prostate checked out, or else it was at-will which makes me wonder why someone would be practicing mench-kegels in the can.

Meanwhile, on the end-of-the-world front, things are getting ridiculous. The U.S. congress and their instigators, the Three Stooges, Obama, Geithner, and Bernanke, (with apologies to Larry, Curly, Moe, et. al.) are amusing if nothing else. Now they are taking over pieces of the auto industry, all the while swearing up and down that they don't want to run private car companies. They're either morons, or else they think the people who voted for Obama are. I'm not sure which is more amusing and distressing. If the more accurate interpretation of events is that they are just fools full of hubris then one has to ask how these people can believe that the business of deciding that these companies, both the financial bank giants of Wall Street and the American automobile behemoths of Detroit, are somehow too big and/or important to fail is NOT "running automobile companies" (or the banks, for that matter). What is this if not industrial/commercial policy? It's idiocy on stilts, at the minimum.

My friend Rob T. was talking about the "bail outs" of the car companies. He correctly pointed out that people would not buy cars from the big three if they had doubts about these companies remaining in business and being able to honor warranties, service contracts and being able to supply maintenance and repair parts. He's wondering if the bureaucrats really believe that their bailout ideas are going to work or if they're just pandering. I think he's missing the point. The politicians don't really care whether the big three fail or not. They don't really care if the companies sell cars and produce a profit or not. If they do succeed and produce viable cars and a healthy profit that's all gravy to the politicians and you can be sure that they will tax the profits so that they won't be invested somewhere profitable, but that's not the main objective for the politicians. By keeping The Big Three in business, the government is merely making a payoff to the union employees. The company doesn't have to succeed. Every six months, the executives in charge will be hauled before Congress for a dressing down and public humiliation because the dinosaurs aren't really salvageable no matter how much CPR is performed on them. Congress will then extend more "bailout money" to the companies ostensibly to help them "get turned around". What this will constitute though, is merely allowing the executives, and more importantly, the union people, to keep their overpriced jobs. It doesn't matter if the companies succeed or fail as long as the politicians can use their continued existence to make payoffs to the unions by allowing the employees to keep punching time clocks and collecting a paycheck. Think of it like money laundering. The Congress and the administration want to bribe their mostly Democrat union base and "bailing out" the car companies is an effective front for doing just that. They'll keep it up just as long as they possibly can, just as they did for Amtrak. It's a scam.

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You describe the cut as the end of the world and then talk about economics and politics? That was kind of a letdown.

Right?!? I am watching zombie movies and thinking, "end of the world? Oh your God, we're all doomed." But then, he has to come in with his rational posts and thoughts and make me wanting to secure illegal guns on the Mexican secondary market look crazy.

There's a storm coming.

If you aren't looking at this current economy and seeing the end of the world as we know it you either aren't paying attention or don't understand what's happening.

How would you fix this whole mess?

It's easier to point out what's wrong than how to get somewhere right, but...

  1. Stop the bank bailouts.

  2. Stop the automobile company bailouts.

  3. Sell off Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, at fire-sale prices if necessary. End government mortgage guarantees.

  4. Repeal the Community Reinvestment Act.

  5. Repeal Sarbanes-Oxley

  6. Change the law so the Federal Reserve can be audited.

  7. Order an audit of the Federal Reserve.

  8. Set a weight in gold for dollar convertability that will not cause economic chaos.

  9. Dismantle the Federal Reserve and end fractional reserve banking.

  10. Repeal all legal tender laws. Contracts can be written for exchange in any legal medium agreeable to the parties.

  11. End the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).

That's a start.

Re: It's easier to point out what's wrong than how to get somewhere right, but...

That's a very good start. I'd add a few more, off the top of my head:

12. Phase out Social Security (10 to 20 years, out of pity for the current generation of parasitic recipients).

13. Phase out Medicare (10 years, max, because the elderly are already the wealthiest cohort).

14. Close just about every cabinet department and terminate its staff.

15. Withdraw all US troops from overseas bases (including Iraq and Afghanistan) and discharge most of them.

16. End the war on drugs.

17. End all foreign aid.

18. End all domestic social welfare spending, including assistance for food, housing and education.

19. Repeal every other federal law which is not authorized by Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution.

Re: It's easier to point out what's wrong than how to get somewhere right, but...

Yes, yes, of course, yes to all of those as well, but she wanted to know what I would do to start getting out of the economic mess. I was thinking in terms of immediate returns and stuff that wouldn't create chaos to start in the right direction. We're in a hole. The items I picked are mostly of the "stop digging" variety. The ones you've listed are more along the lines of "start looking for a ladder to climb out". All in all, I think the ideas we've listed are ultimately where it would be best to go. I think the whole mess has got to collapse first though. I don't think anyone would want to fix things, even if they knew what to do or why. There are a lot of bad premises at work in the world and people have bought into them.

Re: It's easier to point out what's wrong than how to get somewhere right, but...

In a nutshell: bad investment is more than just material; it's philosophical/spiritual as well.

Re: It's easier to point out what's wrong than how to get somewhere right, but...

You're preaching to the choir. I'm an Austrian anarcho-capitalist.

Re: It's easier to point out what's wrong than how to get somewhere right, but...

Father MacKenzie, writing the words of a sermon that no one will hear...

Yes, I know you are one of us. Sometimes though, I think the choir are the only ones listening. ; )

Re: It's easier to point out what's wrong than how to get somewhere right, but...

While we're indulging our wish lists:

20. Repeal amendment 17 to the U.S. Constitution.

21. Repeal amendment 16 to the U.S. Constitution.

22. Close the Internal Revenue Service and abolish the income tax.

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