Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The Great Theft

I almost despair these days of reading anything in any newspaper, other than the sport (and even then its touch and go), because virtually every story you read is linked in some way to government failure and the pathetic blaming by government of this failure on the free market of human beings making uncoerced choices. (Thank the Lord for the Beckhams, for breaking this litany.)

However, the recent use by the British government of £57 billion pounds, to prop up a morally hazardous bank, must be advertised loud and wide to enable people to make their own minds up. So thank you, Daily Torygraph, for pursuing this story with such tenacity:

Northern Rock rescue to cost us £1,800 each

As the Torygraph says, the money recently spent on our behalf by Mervyn King, Alistair Darling, and Gordon Brown, is enough loot to pay for:
  • A cut in VAT from 17.5 to 6.5 per cent for a year
  • The removal of fuel duty for two years
  • The suspension of corporation tax for a year
Oh well, it's only other people's money, used to buy votes for governmental legitimacy. So who cares how much we strangle the economy to pay for it? Make mine an MP's non-receipted expenses claim for £135,000 or a policeman's double-bubble salary for £260,000. (Michael Rozeff is surely right to call "the state" a series of thieves linked together as gang agents in a contractual scam to bleed the rest of us dry.)

What's even worse than this theft, however, is the unreported story of how this £57 billion pounds will more likely distort the economy - it is far worse than the Torygraph imagines. Because Gordon Brown will blanche at making the necessary government spending cuts or increasing taxes to cover this largesse.

No, what he will do instead is allow the Bank of England to print up all of this money out of thin air, and then when the fractional reserve system gets hold of it, it will fornicate with itself to become an extra £570 billion pounds floating around the economy (or over a trillion dollars). This extra counterfeit money, backed by no real underlying economic goods, will then cause all of the usual horrible economic distortions that any counterfeiter creates by printing fake money, only on a much more dangerous scale than the spiv-up-the-road could create with a state-of-the-art photocopier.

So Gordon won't directly steal this money from us, oh no, unlike the Torygraph report. What he will do instead, to cover up his criminal behaviour, is dilute the value of everything the rest of have in our wallets, which will eventually be worse for us than just taking the £57 billion off us in tax, directly, and certainly much worse than if he cut government spending by the same amount (God forbid). And then when the ensuing inflation hits home, causing bubbles to burst and other terrible economic busts, he will then blame evil and greedy capitalists for rising prices and for causing this ensuing inflation. Who'd be a free market capitalist, trying to use the greatest economic system the human race has ever devised for making the lives of everyone exponentially better than in the past, and which has given even the most work-challenged bums a better standard of living than even the very wealthiest of medieval Kings and Queens?

Oh to be a socialist again and blind to the realities of what Gordon and his mafia mob are up to! (And I include David Cameron in this gang.) Having learned through Ludwig von Mises what they're really up to, the utter criminality and mendaciousness of it all is enough to make you weep.

And all this comes on the back of yesterday's announcement that the Bank of England is going to print up (or electronically transfer from thin air) whatever it takes to make the UK's banks "solvent", whatever the heck that means in this rapidly-approaching-Weimar-Republic-status land we live in, where central banks think that by inflating all currencies together at the same rate, so they all depreciate together in harmony, that no harm will be done. At least no harm will be done to the salaries of all the incumbents in government and in these socialist monetary planning committees. And with stupid British papers reporting idiotic stories such as "Increased Bank Credit to Ease Mortgage Worries" and "Bank to use Rates to Fight Off Recession", you can see why Gordon Brown chooses to inflate rather than to tax or cut spending.

Again, if you want to know the damage this printing press mentality causes, either emigrate to Zimbabwe, or read virtually any of Frank Shostak's amazing pieces, such as this one.

Seriously, if you have any money spare at the moment, get as much of it into gold as you can possibly afford to (or goldmines, if you need a coupon), because that precious metal is going to sky-rocket in the next few years when this Ponzi paper pyramid fountain finally explodes.

Watch out for seriously rigged CPI "inflation" figures, cooked up by various G8 governments, and we'll know it's really got bad when these criminal gangs start blaming gold-hoarders for causing the crisis, and then start confiscating their gold for nominal prices.

At this point we may have to do what the Romans did when their tax collectors came round, and bury the stuff. So now you know why these hoards keep being discovered. At this rate, future archaeologists in the year 4000 are going to amazed why gold hoards suddenly re-appeared again in the 21st century. But then again, all they'll need to do will be to re-read Mises.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Officially Stunned

I had hoped beforehand that at best the Tea Party would go beyond the November 5th haul and would top out at $5 million for the day, and $17 million overall.

But to go a million beyond that, to totals of $6 million and $18 million respectively, is simply incredible. And with Ron Paul being the kind of parsimonious man who could turn a measly $0.42 cents into a slap-up picnic for 20, combined with a "free" volunteer force of 100,000+ stalwarts - God forbid as an Englishman, dare I call them Patriots? - something the other mercenary campaigns must dream of, the conclusion is inevitable; the Good Doctor is going to be a presence throughout the entire campaign.

Once Fred Thompson bows out and heads back to his yacht in Santa Monica, much of Thompson's "conservative" support will head Paul's way. Who knows where the rest will go once most of the other expensive volunteer-poor campaigns begin to blow up, leaving Paul to contend with just one or two other "serious" opponents (to borrow a phrase from the MSM).

Let's imagine we're left with just Suit, Benito, and the Huckster...

The suit will implode because of his endless flip-flops; Benito will implode because everyone in New York hates him and his lurid private life will expose his cant and hypocrisy; and Tax Hike Mike will implode because even though Americans may often appear utterly mad in films like Borat, even hard-core Guns'n'Crosses neocons may realise that the Huckster is totally unelectable when put up against an operator like Hillary Clinton.

Which in short, leaves one man standing. And no, I ain't talking about John Galt.

The impossible dream? I don't think we ain't seen nuthin' yet.

Officially Overjoyed

The magic $16 million barrier is broken. Can it go to $5 million in one day? Can it even break $17 million? Crikey.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Officially Ecstatic

$15 million dollars and climbing.....

Where will the popsicle get to?

Saturday, December 15, 2007

The Anti-Intellectual's Intellectual

Der Hoppemeister is in stunning form with his latest audio MP3 release from the Mises Institute:

The State, the Intellectuals, and the Role of Anti-Intellectual-Intellectuals

In this 25-minute crystallization of anarchist philosophy, delivered in New York in October this year, the Teutonic and rogueish sea captain once again blasts the ideology of the state apart with a hundred well-fused cannons, taking us through the kindergarten, the school, the university, and the other major sea lanes of life, without taking any statist prisoners en route.

With deeply penetrative thought he unlocks the Gordian myth of Hobbes's dog eat dog philosophy and explains how the state managed to get us where we are. He then explains how we can strip the state's many tinpot emperors of their ideological clothes to free ourselves from their chains.


Oh, and there's a great line about monkeys riding bicycles, if you like that sort of thing! (Ok, so it's a chimpanzee above, rather than a monkey, but come on, it's a great photo! :-)

Friday, December 14, 2007

Thunderbirds are Go!


Ready for the Big One?

Ready for the Boston Tea Party weekend? With the Good Doctor currently in the $11.5 million zone, it's a certainty that his "optimistic" stretch target of $12 million dollars will be blown through with ease, for the quarter. The only question is where will it get to?

I'll be happy with $14 million, ecstatic with $15 million, and overjoyed with $16 million.

So it's time to get the popcorn in and watch that counter. And although I've only been to Boston once, on a pilgrimage to the sites of the original Tea Party, the Liberty Trail, and Bunker Hill, my thoughts will be with those modern American revolutionaries on Sunday when they tip the tea into that freezing cold harbour.

Their earlier brethren managed to successfully reject the old mercantilist British Empire 250 years ago. Let's hope Ron Paul's revolutionaries can successfully reject the modern mercantilist American Empire too, by using their raised money cleverly enough to get their man into the Whitehouse. Go Ron Paul!

The Elephants Are At It Again

The world government inflationers are getting desperate. Under the direction of their masters at the Federal Reserve, most of the major central banks yesterday unveiled a concerted plan to flood with world with paper scrip, in a bid to solve the problem of their being too much paper scrip in the world.

And if that last sentence made any kind of sense to you, it may be time for you to apply for a job in a central bank! :-)

UPDATE: Even the British MSM is starting to realise that there's a deep and perhaps unfixable problem with paper money managed by socialist planning boards. Unfixable that is, except by Ron Paul. (See, The Case for Gold.)

Global Debunking

The appalling mass-hypnotic lunacy of the climate change lobby is once again exposed.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Merry Christmas From HMG

Most intelligent people I meet in my new life as a City chancer, are quite sanguine about what governments are for. I'll paraphrase, but the general theme goes like this: "Governments are in it for themselves, and I never trust them an inch, because all the money they steal from me is just used to feather their own nests". Which is refreshing. However, back out in the "real" world where ordinary people live, the general opinion is a lot more benign, along the lines of this: "There's lots of problems with government and I'll admit they aren't always the most efficient group of people, but in the end we need them, primarily for security and protection."

Well, we could argue long and hard about whether British soldiers killing Iraqis and Afghanis, with bullets paid for by taxes extracted from my wallet, are actually improving my personal security and not actually making it more likely that I'll get blown up one day on a Tube train or melted in a suitcase nuke attack, but people need to come to Austrianism of their own accord through self-education, and the most we can do as Austrians is help them find their way.

But what I find really morally repugnant is the thought of those millions of people in Britain making good livings from the state, and stuffing themselves with turkey and mince pies this Christmas, while some of the poor schlepps who've spent their entire lives funding this cornucopia of government waste, have been left out in the cold, eking out a miserable life on "benefits" after this lifetime of heavy taxation paying for all of these legions of mince pies to fill the maws of the bureaucrats.

Witness the recent scandal with the government's Financial Assistance Scheme only handing out £9 million pounds of largesse, while keeping £10 million for its own running costs, and holding back £750 million so Gordon can keep it in his pot to buy the next election. Disgusting. I simply don't know how Gordon Brown and his New Labour orcs can sleep at night, all tucked up and cosy in Whitehall, with tax-paid central heating keeping them warm.

So whose financial assistance is the Financial Assistance Scheme coming to? Well, all the miserable state-loving government parasites working for it, of course, no doubt several of whom are in the £150k a year cachet, plus a bit more on top for the really slimy ones.

And no, I'm no fan of government pension schemes and associated regulation. But if the raison d'etre of government is the protection of people, and they demand 50% of your income for your entire life to pay for such protection, then the damn least they can do is actually provide you with some protection when you need it, rather than seeing this extracted pelf wasted on yet more government scams to reward government-loving "intellectuals" and other whining supporters, from the coercively stolen lifeblood of the industrious.

Government sickens me. The sooner we get rid of it, the better for us all.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Zeppelins For Ron Paul

Apparently, the Blimp is almost in the air. I haven't felt this excited since watching Le Rouge Ballon, as a small boy.

Go Blimp, Go!

(The whirring noise is the sound of freedom spreading round the world! :-)

And here's hoping what it will actually look like in Boston, on December the 16th, if the snow stays away.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Land Von Dem Frei

Okay, call me a miserable old curmudgeon, but I think the Harry Potter series of books is quite a remarkable piece of work. Yes, it's terribly derivative from J.R.R. Tolkien, Terry Pratchett, plus Uncle Tom Cobbley, et al, but there is something disturbingly readable about it all. I'm currently on my third reading of the Half-Blood Prince, and I'm enjoying it as much as I did with my seventeenth re-reading of the Two Towers.

We will see whether on my seventeenth re-reading of the Half-Blood Prince it has the same magic as Saruman versus Gandalf within the confines of Orthanc, or even George Smiley versus Karla vying wills upon the Gulagesque remnants of the Berlin Wall, but at least Harry Potter has a little Girl-Boy action with Hermione and the Weasley creature, ginger monster though he is. (The inevitable question is of course why Miss Grainger isn't after Harry, but I digress.)

J.K.Rowling may have been a Welfare Queen, but as with many English/Scottish/Welsh/Irish writers, she may have been outside the freedom paradigm of the American Revolution, or even the lucky bien-venue of Canadistan, but she does still know how to write a fine yarn, damn her welfare driven eyes. Which is more than I can say for most American writers, with the
exception of Harold Robbins. Okay, so I'm kidding, but in the words of Alec Guinness, the British Isles does seem to punch above its weight in terms of literary innovation, when weighed against Stephen King, Neal Stephenson, or even the redoubtable Robert Heinlein.

We may be just a Few, we here on this sceptred isle. But what a Few. We happy Few. Thank God I'm an Englishman.

Okay, so you North Americans may disagree. But at least we don't tolerate being tasered by a load of fascist morons in police uniforms. At least, not yet. Unlike the seemingly compliant citizens of land of the free. Ihre Papieren, bitte? Jawohl Herr Major, kein problem. Alles ist in Ordnung im Iowa und Ohio; Wir sind sehr glucklich mit onhes Der Britischen. Fur, ich bin ein Amerikane in einem Land von dem Frei.

Or as we say in England, don’t you wish you still lived under the majesty of the Queen? Herr Professor Hoppe is right. Monarchy is terrible. But it’s still much better than Democracy.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Why "Injections of Liquidity" Are Really "Injections of Fraud"

When you hear the bankers of the City and Wall St. scream out in pain (Oh no, my bonus is only going to be a measly half million, this year), they're usually screaming for "Injections of Liquidity", in the same manner that heroin addicts scream out for injections of diamorphine.

But what exactly is wrong with injecting "liquidity" into the market? Surely, if the banks are short of investment capital, with nobody willing to lend anything except overnight, and with LIBOR heading towards 7%, then surely it is the job of the central banks to ease this lending crisis?

Well, I could argue the toss with anyone over this, given a rather fine bottle of chianti and some fava beans, throwing in some references as to why it is obvious that a "private" counterfeiter is dysfunctional to an economy and then asking what makes it so wonderful for a socialist monetary committee to do the same thing? But why waste your time (and a fine bottle of chianti), when you could be reading a far greater master than I on the criminality of central banking "money market" operations. Who he? Well, Frank Shostak, of course, perhaps the finest writer alive on this cancerous malevolence of central banking.

If you really want to understand why injections of "liquidity" are such a terrible idea, then you can do no better than read the following article:

Does the Current Financial Crisis Vindicate the Economics of Hyman Minsky?

Tremendous. If I wasn't a convinced Austrian, just this article alone would make me one. Marvellous.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Terry Pratchett's Making Fiat Money?

Okay, so Terry Pratchett's latest novel is about the central bank of Ankh-Morpork issuing fiat paper money, instead of relying upon gold, and all this has been put in place by the Machiavellian Vetinari, under the auspices of...wait for it...Moist von Lipwig?

Gold...central bank...Moist von currency...Ludwig von Mises...central shurely there's shome mishtake?

I must read this monkey and figure out what the heck's going on.

It's long been my suspicion that Mr Pratchett has been on a long road from Guardianista to Pseudo-Austrian (and good luck to him if he has been), but this is getting very close to the bone, even for him. I will be back on this, even if I have to shell out on the hardback. I mean, Moist von Lipwig? You've got to be kidding me.

Double-Think: A Rock & A Hard Place

So, what do you do if you're a believer in the anti-democratic philosophy of Der Hoppemeister, and in a remarkable process of double-think, also a believer in the pro-democratic philosophy of Dr. Ron Paul, the million-to-one outsider in the American Presidential race?

Well, as any Terry Pratchett fan will tell you, if ever you're handed a million-to-one chance, it's an absolute certainty that the monkey will come home. So until the fascist military machine that is the welfare-warfare state composed of all the countries bending to the will of the Council on Foreign Relations, manages to shrug off Dr. Paul, I'm forced to suspend disbelief and become a full-time supporter of the world's greatest living Austrian. And no. I ain't talking about Lew Rockwell! :-)

Because if it truly is a million-to-one shot, it's a certainty that this time next year that Dr. Ron Paul will be President of the United States. Yes, and then I'll wake up and stop dreaming. But the world is composed of the random thoughts and ideas of dreamers, and so this is one dream I'll cling to until the Fat Lady bombs Iran.

Go Ron Paul Blimp! :-)

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Vive L'Angleterre! - England Beat France

Once more unto the ruck, dear friends, once more;
Or close the maul up with our English ball carriers.
In peace there's nothing so becomes a man
As modest stillness and humility:
But when the blast of Chabal blows in our ears,
Then imitate the action of Jason Robinson.
Stiffen the hamstrings, summon up the blood,
Disguise fair-haired nature with hard-favour'd rage;
Then lend the eye of Jonny a terrible aspect;
Let pry through the portage of the tight head
Like the brass cannon; let the brow o'erwhelm it
As fearfully as doth a gallic Ibanez
O'erhang his conversion and jutty his confounded base,
Swill'd with the wild and wasteful swing.
Now set the teeth and stretch Sackey's nostril wide,
Hold hard the breath and bend up every spirit
To his full height. On, on, you noblest English pack.
Whose blood is fet from fathers of war-proof!
Fathers that, like so many tap-tackling Worsleys,
Have in these parts from morn till even fought
And sheathed their ice packs and deep heat for lack of argument:
Dishonour not your mothers; now attest
That those like D'Allaglio whom you call'd fathers did beget you.
Be copy now to men of grosser blood,
And teach them how to war.
And you, good yeoman,
Whose limbs were made in England, show us here
The mettle of your pasture; let us swear
That you are worth your breeding; which I doubt not;
For there is none of you so mean and base, except Simon Shaw,
That hath not noble lustre in your eyes.
I see Lewsey stand like a greyhound in the slips,
Straining upon the start.
The game's afoot:
Follow your spirit, and upon this charge
Cry 'God for Harry, England, and Saint George Chuter!'

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Austrian Shock Therapy

Someone asked me today to send them a list of Austrian primers, to get started with the one form of economics which actually manages to coherently explain all economic phenomena from inflation through to welfare dependency, via empire building, and onto boom and bust. I thought this might be a useful list for other budding Austrians to get their teeth into.

What has the government done to our money? A primer for inflation. Read around 10 linked pages for a good precis on the whys, hows, whens, and wheres, of what inflation is and how it comes about:

What else you should know about inflation. The classic text in the Austrian field:

The origin of the horrors of the Welfare state and why it always destroys the human spirit:

How the welfare state corrupted Sweden:

Man vs. The Welfare State. Another Hazlitt classic:

The Welfare state's attack on the family:

Democracy. The God that failed:

The myth of efficiency (or the myth of the economy of scale):

Economics in one lesson. A complete synopsis of Austrian economics:

What is the Austrian school?

Intellectuals and why the state looks after them:

Business Cycle - Boom and Bust - and how Austrianism explains it:

Man, Economy, and State. A complete economic treatise, in much greater depth.

Human Action. The defining work of Austrian Economics:

That should be enough to keep anyone going for a few days! :-)

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Toad Gordo - The Greatest Coward in England

Yes, it makes absolutely no difference which political party has current control of the train set, here in England, but it is refreshing to see what cowards they are under the skin, as today with Toad Gordo losing his nerve and failing to call an election.

What a bottler.

If he'd announced an election, he would've said, "The Country is demanding it." But this logic still holds even if the opinion polls are against this great fat marxist. So what it boils down to is that Toad Gordo is a coward. And everyone knows it. Which is superb! :-)

Unlike the glorious heroes of the England rugby team, who read in a hundred newspapers that Australia would trample them, but who still rode out into the fire anyway to win against the odds, Toad Gordo looked into the face of the wretched Chocolate Orange inspecting enemy and flinched. Pathetic.

Yes, all politicians are pusillanimous immoral wretches, but it is good to see them for what they are when their cowardly impulses are set out in plain daylight for all to see, with the spin bubble removed from their brows.

Get back to Scotland, Toad. We don't need cowards here. Just heroes.

UPDATE: As if being a coward was not enough, we have since had Toad Gordo displaying mendacious arrogance by lying quite openly about why he failed to call an election. And everyone, even his own usual News International sycophants, merely laughed at him directly to his face. For this 'master strategist' to be thus revealed as an arrogant, indecisive, thin-skinned, lying coward, to everyone in Blighty with a pulse, is simply first class. And this is the best that socialism can produce, the finest of their new soviet men. What an utter shower.

England 700 Million, Australia Nil

If we are mark'd to die on this French field, we are enow
To do our country loss; and if to live,
The fewer men like Wilkinson, the greater share of honour.
God's will! I pray thee, wish not one man more than fifteen.
By Robinson, I am not covetous for the players in gold,
Nor care I who doth feed upon the Flood of my cost;
It yearns me not if men my bloody garments wear;
Such outward things dwell not in my desires.
But if it be a sin to covet honour,
I am the most offending soul alive.
No, faith, my coz, wish not the back row men from England.
God's peace! I would not lose so great an honour
As one man more methinks would share from me
For the best hope I have. O, do not wish one more!
Rather proclaim Phil Vickery, through my host,
That which Tuqiri hath no stomach to this fight,
Let him depart; his passport shall be stamped at the exit,
And crowns for convoy down under put into his purse;
We would not die in that man's company
That fears his fellowship to die with us.
This day is call'd the feast of St Sheridan.
He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
Will stand a tip-toe like Worsley when this day is nam'd,
And rouse him at the names of Shaw and Kay.
Bearded George that shall live this day, and see old age,
Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,
And say 'To-morrow is Saint Sheridan.'
Then Stevens will strip his sleeve and show his scars,
And say 'These wounds I had on Sheridan's day.'
Old men forget; yet all shall be forgot,
But he'll remember, with advantages,
What feats Catt did that day. Then shall our names,
Familiar in his mouth as household words-
Easter and Sackey, Regan and Corry,
Moody and Gomarsall, Tait and Dallaglio-
Be in their flowing cups freshly rememb'red.
This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Lewsey shall ne'er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remembered-
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition;
And gentlemen in England now-a-bed
Shall think themselves accurs'd they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Sheridan's day.
Or at least, watched from afar with ale in our hands,
And shrinking disbelief in our hearts,
As we were vigilant upon the defeat of the men in gold,
And we shall proclaim this day,
As Triumph; Havoc, England and St. George.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Judge the Truth for Yourself

Of course, philosophically I am completely opposed to all state judges and the franchised state monopoly they run in legal court services, but every once in a blue moon they occasionally speak a little wisdom, so I must praise Judge Lord Bracadale for the following recent quote:
"The issue of counterfeit notes not only undermines the economy of a country, but is likely to result in loss being sustained by innocent people who find themselves in possession of these notes only to discover they are worthless."
Well said, sir!

Of course, the good judge was speaking about counterfeiters operating without a state licence. Strangely, when counterfeiters are licensed, by a magical process of magic-ness, producing fake bank notes backed by nothing but crispest fresh air, it's somehow good for the economy. It only becomes bad for the economy when its anyone other than the Bank of England or the Bank of Scotland.

We are fortunate indeed to live in such a magical land where such terrible crimes can be rendered wise and benevolent by the judicious intervention of a large mafia-like body known as the 'British state'. How fortunate it is then, that Lord Bracadale receives his income from this same state. It is indeed a remarkable coincidence.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Slightly Less Fat Man On Bicycle

Over the last few weeks of cycling 12 miles a day in central London, four days a week, I've managed to lose about 2.5 ounces in weight, which is nice. However, I'm afraid it's curtains for the Strida.
I do love this funky bike to bits, but we ex-4th-team flankers find the Strida a little bit slow and a tiny bit dangerous to cover the distance between Paddington and Bank, twice a day, especially when doing life-savers over the right shoulder. Fortunately, due to the splendid people at Strida who sold it to me on a 60-day trial basis (don't ya love the free market), I'll be getting my money back for it. I wish them the best with it, but I reckon it tops out at about 3 miles max per journey, for a man of my girth, and really ought to be used by slighter people than my good self.

With the money coming back, I've now splashed out on a Dahon Vitesse D5.This far sturdier machine is easily able to bear great human lumps of beer, pie, and fat, and is whizzing me along at a brisk 35 minutes per journey (as opposed to 45 minutes on the Strida), and therefore able to match the average Tube time. It's far less fun than the Strida, alas, and it's a bit more awkward and heavy to carry, but I can now look over my right shoulder with confidence, which is crucial for cruising down the Embankment.

So for those of you who've been watching out at Hyde Park for me with binoculars, hoping to claim their £10 pounds prize, I'm now much more blended in to the bitter ecomentalist herd at Hyde Park corner, worse luck, though I have still managed to avoid Lycra. Or putting sanctimonious stickers on my bike, such as "One Less Car", like one muppet I saw the other day - who presumably never eats food delivered to supermarkets by trucks or other gasoline-powered vehicles, or who has never travelled any miles in a car, ever. Thankfully, my splendid car carries my Dahon to and from the station at high speed and at great comfort, while I listen to Sir Terence Wogan on the bass-woofing car radio, so if anyone has any "I love my car" stickers I can stick onto my new bike frame, or "My other bike is a Honda CBR", I would definitely appreciate it, especially if the muppet above gets to see it.

And now we've mentioned the Honda CBR, do you think that gives me an opportunity to re-use the photo below? I should coco.

Pip pip!!

Oh No, Not Another Diana Enquiry!

Like London buses parking in cycle lanes, just when you thought you'd got round the last Diana enquiry, another one pops up. Hey ho, you might think, in a jolly way; at least it'll give the Daily Mail yet more opportunities to get the poor girl on yet another 72 consecutive front covers of their dreadful rag, to boost their ailing circulation.

But what exactly is the point? There are two things that could've happened:

1. Diana died in a car accident. (Roads socialism (PDF link) ensures this happens all the time.)

2. The British state took Diana out in a wet disposal operation, because she was becoming an embarrasment. (This also happens all the time. What would be the point of the MI5 Security and MI6 Secret Service operations, if it didn't?)

In the first instance, the enquiry is a waste of time, because even when the roads are eventually de-socialized, I'm sure there'll still be road accidents (though far less than under roads socialism), and as the Forrest Gump film put it so eloquently, shit happens. In the second instance, the enquiry is being run by the British state under their usual monopolistic court set-up, and the British state is hardly likely to accuse and then prosecute the British state in their own court in the manner of a Turkey voting for Saxo stuffing share options.

Of course the £50 million, or even £100 million, this enquiry is going to cost...

[Sound of penny dropping]

Crikey! Are you telling me that the British state is running this enquiry purely to fool us that the legal system is independent and then to cross-subsidise its various apparatchiks and fellow travelling parasites in the state-franchised legal system with yet more ill-gotten taxpayers pelf in return for their complicity in this enormous wealth-thieving scam?

That would be a vile calumny.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Office of Fair Trading Discovers Businesses Doing Business Together

Apparently, lots of evil capitalists have been meeting down dark alleys at night and colluding together, by forcing me to come into their stores and making me buy dairy products at the prices offered, which I have mistakenly agreed to pay under the delusion that I am an adult capable of making a rational choice and incapable of opening up a rival dairy business in a free market to out-compete them, having realised their prices can be bettered. Thank goodness for the Office of Fair Trading then, for uncovering this theft and calumny of £270 million pounds! That this 'discovery' has also justified their existence, and may raise hundreds of millions in fines for Toad Gordo, is beside the point, as is the way they keep making these discoveries almost on a regular timetable basis, despite all private businessmen knowing how these immense sporadic fines can wreck their very existence. These business-savvy OFT civil servants are heroes, and deserve everything that's coming to them.

But what about the discovery that Maturin Towers recently made too? Apparently, for hundreds of years now shadowy groups of individuals have been colluding together in dark corridors and then annually stealing up to £2,000 billion pounds a year from the British public in direct theft, through the imposition of monopolies over security provision and numerous other services, and preventing wealth creation in approximately similar amounts by the sheer numbers of mind-numbing regulations they have created to wrap us all up in via these same security monopolies. These 'government officials', as they call themselves, produce hardly anything worth having and if they were all sacked, we would hardly notice their disappearance except that we would all be far wealthier, have far less of these 'sharers and gatherers' going around making our lives an utter misery in monopolies such as the NHS, and be safer due to the removal of their foreign military adventures around the world funded out of the £2 trillion they steal from us annually, either through taxation or counterfeiting (or borrowing, which is delayed taxation or counterfeiting).

When will this news be released?

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Independent Bank of England Agrees To Do What It's Told

Just why exactly do we pay such high salaries to all of these apparatchiks, in the Financial Services Authority, the Bank of England, and the Treasury? They always do just exactly what Gordon tells them. So what's the point of them? Why don't we simply replace them all with cardboard cut-outs to save on the salaries and the pensions? Oh, sorry, I was forgetting that Badger Darling already is a cardboard cut-out; of his Lord and Master, Toad Gordo.

Make mine a £10 billion pound 'injection' of counterfeit cash and a nationalised banking system with Toad Gordo as chief banker!

I really just can't quite believe that this week has happened, with a nationalised UK banking system feasting upon moral hazard, the sluice gates opened to massive sterling inflation with endless 'injections' of fake paper, and the Federal Reserve pouring away what value remains within the dollar to satisfy its masters on Wall Street. And it's only Wednesday! Ye Gods.

We shall repent at our leisure.


Oh dear.

When Badger Darling's puppet master, Toad Gordo, saw those TV pictures of all those Labour voters queueing up outside branches of Northern Rock to kick his "golden economic miracle" in the teeth, the response was unprecedented. The taxpayers of Great Britain have now been lined up to stand behind every stupid risky decision taken by the pampered financial elites of the City of London, for the rest of time. Or at least until the Pound Sterling eventually collapses.

Trebles all round boys, and don't forget to take out your usual whopping Christmas bonuses (and thanks for the 40% tax on them too!).

With HMG now placing its taxpaying serfs into this backstop role, expect even more really stupid investment decisions over the next few years, and many more Northern Rock style incidents. No doubt it will all be blamed on capitalism, when once again it is all really down to socialism, or should I say the man behind the green curtain, Toad Gordo.

And it gets worse on the other the side of the Atlantic too. All you'll hear from the elites of Wall Street are the words, "sensible", "balanced", and "pragmatic", when describing the Fed's decision to print even more oomplahs of paper dollars, with its 50 basis point interest rate cut, yesterday. But then these financial elites are facing bonus season, and those yachts and Ferraris are calling.

Just think about it for a moment. What do you do if your paper currency is going down the toilet, becoming more worthless by the hour, the Chinese are dumping your treasury bonds, and any remaining value your paper scrip has is being wasted on idiotic programmes such as the sub-prime mortgage market, because the US and UK governments have made it plain that they will cover all losses with guns placed to the heads of their taxpayers? Yes, that's right; you print even more of the smeggers!

Welcome to Wonderland. The Mad Hatter will be along in a minute, when he's finished chairing the Open Market Operation committee meeting at the Bank of England.

Maturin advice? Buy gold, while you can still get it with this paper rubbish we mistakenly call money, or at least gold stocks. Because all of these paper currencies are going down. They have a few years left in them yet, but it is only a matter of time. How long is debatable. The Soviets managed to keep the paper rouble going for decades. But when the men with guns start insisting upon legal tender laws, and actually have to bring the guns out to enforce them, we will know we are in the end game. Brown's decision to permanently place the UK taxpayer behind the UK's banks may be the first intimation of this.

What would be really funny, of course, is if Putin decided to create a gold rouble to really sock it to the dollar and the pound. But whatever you do, or Putin does, get out of paper and get into real values. Forget "sensible", "balanced", and "pragmatic". Yesterday marked the high-point of a very tall and a very steep rollercoaster. We are about to find out the meaning of the phrase white-knuckle ride. You have been warned.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Terracotta Tin Pot Tax Collectors

Am I a sourpuss? But the thought of paying good hard earned paper scrip to take a look at a load of terracotta tyrants representing the armed tax bureaucrats who rammed China into an age of Mandarinic servitude, as they guard their imperial master into the afterlife, in his Mausoleum monument built by 700,000 slaves, fills me with nothing but absolute disinterest.

Show me a marble bust of Cicero or a Corinthian Agora and I'm there, because these represent the rise of law, civilisation, and the market, which are synonymous with the rise of liberty. But show me a vainglorious monument to the waste of tyrannical government and I'd rather eat a plain cheese biscuit and a couple of small grapes. Yes, these mandarins invented paper money, taxation return forms, and the police state, but are we really that much better off with these tremendous advances in criminality?

Bah, humbug. You go if you want to. I have much better things to do with £12 pounds. For instance, how about buying a copy of Wilding's first book of Latin, instead? A much better use of paper scrip, if you ask me. Ave!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Does Britain Need a Libertarian Party?

Apparently, Sean Gabb is offering a £1,000 pound prize for a 2,000 word essay on whether Britain needs a libertarian party. Well, here's my go...

Ausbildung, Ausbildung, Ausbildung

This country needs a libertarian party like a central bank needs a 100% gold reserve currency. As the experience of Murray Rothbard showed in the United States, the best we can expect from such a conflagration of egos is either a snarling nest of ambitious vipers or an odious cloud of intellectual deadbeats. At worst, we will siphon off the most productive energies of a tiny libertarian vanguard and direct them into the usual Byzantine struggle for ultimate control of the coffee grinder.

The lesson to be learned from the United States experience, where the Libertarian Party has fallen to the thrall of becoming a junior wing of the neoconservative Republican Party, is that we should avoid the revolting world of party politics and its perpetual and internecine beauty contests, where we promise to rob one group to pay off another, whilst keeping a hefty commission for our own underpaid uses. We should leave this envious cornucopia of kickbacks and horse-trading to the parasites and the criminals who currently occupy its foetid territory.

If we find ourselves competing for political power we will have let the socialists beat us. For to accept the rules of their game, where a majority can tyrannize a minority through the sleight of hand of democracy, is to become socialists ourselves in the same way that the mighty Lords of Numenor became slavish ring wraiths to their tyrant king, Sauron, after accepting his golden baubles of power. You may feel you can wield a ring of power to do good with it, but in the end the result is always the same; you become the same snake in the mirror that the rest of them become in their do-gooding bid to save the rest of us from ourselves.

No, it is a far better thing to steer clear of the party political system and to remain unsullied by the foul and dreadful stench emanating from the drains of Westminster. So where does that put me then? Squatting upon an ivory tower, alone, shivering, and afraid, with copies of Tolkien nestled at my feet, and nothing but a giant moth for company, like so many sad libertarians before me? No, because I’ll have my copies of Harry Potter up there with me too!

And what I’ll learn from them is that just as with the Ministry of Magic, if you construct an edifice of what we could call a ‘good’ power, to protect yourself from a ‘bad’ power, it remains only a matter of time before the ‘bad’ power will subsume the ‘good’ one. But we can still build our own Last Alliance of Men and Elves, our last Dumbledore’s Army, without resorting to this fools’ paradise of a repugnant political machine.

Because as Lenin himself realised, the way to defeat a greater military force is not through the process of acquiring force oneself, but to create an intellectual vanguard to undermine the bureaucratic state; for what is the state but a heavily gilded beast resting upon a chariot of mistaken and corrupt ideas? Skewer those ideas, and replace them with your own, as Ghandi did to the British in India, and as Thomas Paine did to the British in the United States, and even the mightiest of empires will collapse under the weight of its own hypocrisy.

The best and most successful model of this form, in modern times, is the Ludwig von Mises Institute, based in Auburn in the United States; an organisation far more successful than the United States Libertarian Party and another God-Child of the effervescent Murray Rothbard. Whatever you may think about Uncle Murray, you could never accuse him of ever giving up. Although he failed with the Cato Institute and the Libertarian Party, I think he hit it third-time-lucky with the Mises Institute.

So what does the Mises Institute do that is so powerful? They have taken Ayn Rand at her word and have undertaken a multi-decade attempt to infiltrate American universities, particularly the philosophy, economics, and history departments, with their own intellectual products schooled in the best traditions of Hayek, Mises, Raico, Riesman, and most of all, Rothbard. Armed with nothing but the truth, these students have quietly and stealthily begun to acquire one professorship at a time, in one university after another, until in the perceived end game, they will have unseated the positivists and the Keynesians from every important professorial chair in America, and replaced them all with the intellectual descendants of Menger, Baum-Bauwerk, Mises, and Rothbard, many of them home-schooled away from the state’s brain-washing muppet factories, another important component of the Mises Institute plan.

Control the Universities, said Rand, and eventually you will control everything. This process is underway and has been now for two decades and is clearly beginning to bear fruit. The campaign of Ron Paul to become United States President will almost certainly fail, probably due to a series of rigged ballots or a rogue plane going down, but just as with the Barry Goldwater campaign of 1964, the waters this campaign is stirring will generate lasting undercurrents of freedom which could lead to our own salvation here, on the other side of the Atlantic. Even ten years ago Paul’s campaign would already have been over, but through the underground and unrelenting work of Lew Rockwell et al, Paul’s campaign has achieved a tenacious grip and will almost certainly hold steady until the New Hampshire primary next year.

And even if the worst should happen and Paul should fail to beat such intellectual giants as Rudy Giuliani, Mitt Romney, John McCain, Barrack Obama, and Hillary Clinton, Paul should light a fuse which could burn for decades. Being a libertarian, however, means that I’m insanely optimistic about the future, and if Paul should win, we would actually have an Austrian in the White House without their constitution needing to be changed! And none of this would have been possible without the hard work of all those people at Auburn who have spent most of their adult lives creating the underlying substrate of a powerful anarcho-capitalist tradition based upon the Super-Jeffersonian tradition of the Declaration of Independence and the American Revolution, supercharged with the European intellectual powerhouse of the Austrian School. Okay, so even having an honest President conversant with Mises, one who will attempt to abolish the IRS and the Federal Reserve, means we’ll still have a long way to go, but it’s been a long time since Keith Joseph and his cataclysmic decision to avoid breaking up the British state school system to keep the Guardianista status quo on-side. The key to all of this is education, as Keith later realised when it was too late, and as the Gramscians have long known. Even if Paul should treat his tenure as nothing more than a four-year education lesson for the American people, we’ll be far further ahead than if we continue trying to persuade the likes of Gordon Brown and David Cameron to think beyond the tendrils of their own vainglorious ambition with a quisling libertarian party.

Rue these Austrians if you will, but they have certainly been more successful than any of the libertarians of Britain, in the last two decades, who seem to delight more in arguing the toss over the meaning of the word ‘epistemology’, rather than worrying about whether we’re actually getting anywhere in an increasingly collectivized Britain. I would hesitate to use the phrase, ‘effete dandies’, but the few times I have managed to break into the carefully ordained inner circles of the libertarian movement in Britain, it has usually only been long enough to be shown the door for daring to have the temerity to question the ancien regime.

The main problem seems to be the general clubbishness of the British libertarian, and their tendency to try to influence our political masters rather than shun them and move on to something better than the broken democratic model. So where the Adam Smith Institute and the others try their best to influence the Labour and Conservative parties, all they do is get sucked into the maw of the same evil machine they are trying to smash until they become as much part of the establishment as a Guards Armoured Division.

A libertarian party would only accentuate this process of acclimatization into the world of power politics, which is why the Libertarian Party has failed so dramatically in the United States, with its legions of members who believe freedom springs from the barrel of an M1 tank. I would also say that a thrill of hob-nobbing with ‘The Great and The Good’ in Westminster may have spiked the guns of freedom in this country and we must break away from this ego-boosting tendency to be on first-name terms with the Paxmans and Neills of this world, which participation in a libertarian party would help promote. To be sucked into their game is to lose sight of the objective, which is to create a world in which the opinions of career politicians and their cronies are meaningless and worthless, affecting nobody, instead of the current situation where if Gordon Brown or David Cameron has a good or a bad feeling in their gut, we’re all made poorer as a result, or if George Bush gets an itch in his toe, half a million Iraqis die. Intellectuals have always been rewarded by the state, to help bring them into the tent, and these rewards are often more than just money; the feeling of being on the inside is often enough for some, and a libertarian party would quickly be co-opted within the warm comforting womb of the state to help foster this feeling of belonging, where Gordon Brown and his orcish ilk appear to become friends and colleagues rather than the pond scum they are.

And let’s cut to the chase, as our American cousins say. There is simply no point trying to form a political party, because the nature of being a libertarian is to move in the direction of independent anarchism rather than collective mono-culture. None of us agree with each other, and most of us are vehement within the comfort of our contradictory opinions, yet the nature of politics is such that to be successful a 49% minority must always bow to a 51% majority to exhibit collective strength, or in the Bolshevik and Menshevik tradition, split up and then spend the next 20 years trying to murder each other, a Monty-Pythonesque process we can already see repeating itself within the UK Independence Party!

It will be much better if we band together to create an ‘Libertarian Institute’ dedicated to promulgating the intellectual tradition of freedom within the universities, one professor at a time, particularly targeting history, philosophy, and economics departments, just as the Mises Institute has done in the United States. We must smash the strangle-hold that the left has upon the intelligentsia in this country by taking those commanding heights ourselves. It is only once, and if, we can control these commanding heights that we will begin to shake this country out of its welfarist lethargy.

Personally speaking, and rather obviously, I would prefer for this institute to be entirely based upon Austrian Economics, to create a cohesive body of intellectual argument, but I am realistic enough to accept that this may be difficult. At first we can concentrate on merely promulgating the best of liberal tradition, from Bastiat through to Hayek, Mises, Rothbard, Rand, and Tame, particularly those overlapping traditions on secession, a live-and-let-live process most of us can agree with.

So is it possible to bring together all the diversities of British libertarians under the roof of a single debating hall? Well, we can but try. Let’s first of all try to bring together the two Libertarian Alliances, and their two small hordes of members who find it difficult to even acknowledge the existence of the other organisation. If that proves impossible, the best plan may simply be for us all to emigrate to Texas or New Hampshire and let Britain sink into a morass of socialism, because if two such ostensibly similar organisations find it impossible to build an institute together, or even a loosely amalgamated debating society, what hope is there for 400 years of British libertarian tradition? We may be best off to simply shut up shop and wait for the American libertarians, the intellectual heirs of David Hume and John Locke, to shake us out of our lethargy when they can finally throw off the fascistic chains of their own neoconservative and democratic rulers.

Do we need a libertarian party? Nein danke. Do we need a libertarian educational institute dedicated to help people free their minds of the poison of the state’s compulsory education system? Ja wohl.

Jack Maturin

If by some fluke of God, this article should win the £1,000 pound prize, every penny will be donated to LewRockwell.Com, to help it support the Ron Paul campaign

Don't Panic! Don't Panic!

So, Alistair Darling is so confident that Northern Rock will survive (ha!) that he's prepared to bet my money on it.

That's big of you, Al. While you're at it, would you mind slipping me some of my own money to buy a big G&T to say Cheers? Or get the independent (ha!) Bank of England to print some for me?

The Magic Circle of Moronic Government Stooges

How do you get rich? This is a question most of us have asked at some point in our lives. Unfortunately, some of us think the answer is to become criminals and then steal the property of others to live off the proceeds. Yes, this only works in the short-term, because if we were all to adopt this cancerous lifestyle choice, there would soon be little worth stealing, as the poor buggers in Zimbabwe are currently finding out. However, if you manage the process carefully and only steal the occasional golden egg from the goose, limit the number of parasites you allow into you hallowed ranks, and get yourself a handy monopoly on force and law, this process of wealth-enhancing theft can become perpetual. And so, lo, your happy band of robbers can settle down to become a respected mafia rather than a hated gang of pirates. And if your mafia can hang on for a couple of hundred years to absorb a few other surrounding mafias in an evolutionary process of power accumulation, it can even become a state.

So the answer to the original question would seem to be that one of the proven ways of becoming rich is to become, in this order; a terrorist, a mafiosi, and then a politician. It needn’t even take several hundred years, as the IRA has patently shown in Northern Ireland.

Obviously in the long-run, the effects of this “wetting my beak” thievery are difficult to detect, though most will admit that the effects create less growth in wealth than would otherwise occur. However, in the short-term of one man’s life, the gains for this criminal lifestyle choice can become immense, if only for just this one man.

Step forward Derek Wanless, the UK government’s favourite useful idiot, and former banker (when he was chief executive of Nat West before it was swallowed by its smaller rival, Royal Bank of Scotland, thus suggesting the nature of the man).

Yes, this Derek Wanless is the same Bozo who suggested that the NHS should have its budget doubled to improve its “service”. Remarkably, this chimed exactly with the thoughts of Gordon Brown, who sponsored the original research. Remarkable!

Obviously, the government completely cocked up the Wanless plan, for instance by paying doctors much more to do much less, with short-term careerists such as Alan Milburn and John Reid doing most of the damage, to help their government-supporting chums in the consultancy club to fill their boots.

Even the most generous of surveys has shown an achieved growth of just 10% in productivity in return for this 100% growth in NHS funding. My uncle’s pet stuffed Aardvark, Brian, could have done better than this. But what do you expect if you get other people to spend other people’s money, especially when those other people are terminally stupid socialists and terminally exploited tax payers? Given the increasing difficulty of getting a doctor’s appointment round my way, I would fail to be surprised if this 10% growth in “service” was actually a 10% cut, with the general mantra proving true that all government services become worse and more expensive over time, until in the end they all resemble the endlessly-subsidised London Underground.

However, given the Soviet nature of the NHS, I wouldn’t believe any figures produced by this grotesquely Kafkaesque “organisation”. Let’s just agree that if anyone had to pay directly for what you got from the NHS, the NHS would run out of paying customers in about 17.97 nano-seconds (and even then I’m being generous, with a spread of about 12 nano-seconds either way).

And so what was the opinion of the hapless Wanless, when asked once again by the socialist morons currently in charge of the train set to analyze these astonishingly poor productivity figures? Yep, that’s right. He said the black hole was hungry, so let’s feed even more wealth into its maw until it can’t stand any more.

Simply astonishing.

But here’s the best bit. This Gordon Brown crony, with his beak in about 27 government pies, is a non-executive director of the Northern Rock building society, you know, the one that’s about to go bankrupt, even under a system of fractional reserve banking and even with the Bank of England lending Northern Rock tons of paper and a sterling printing press to literally make more money.

Simply hilarious. The ‘respectable businessman’ responsible for assigning £100 billion pounds a year of tax payers’ money into the maw of the NHS, and recently telling us it needs even more, is one of the same men responsible for placing into harm’s way a business worth hundreds of billions of pounds and shredding its assets into confetti. Gordon Brown really does know how to pick ‘em.

Mises was always worried that liberty would disappear under the thrall of a self-appointed elite of military officers, government bureaucrats, and fractional reserve bankers. It would appear that once again Von Mises was right, as he usually is. At least in the case of Northern Rock, which is about to disappear right in front of our eyes.

Ready. Steady. Pop!

Friday, September 14, 2007

Northern Rock Being Washed Away

Oh dear. Paper, paper, everywhere, and no matter how incompetent the banks are with it all, the Bank of England will still print them more. This, apparently, is called rational modern neo-classical economics.

We're doomed, doomed, I tell ye, aye, we're all doomed...

Well, maybe not just yet. Rome survived its inflation-driven collapse to become the powerful world centre of Catholicism. Maybe we can survive as the home of the equally powerful religion of environmentalism?

Oh, and it was nice that Alistair "Badger" Darling, the Chancellor, was so kind today to tell the Bank of England that they must independently save any banks with Labour voters as customers. How kind of him to remind his pet central bank of their fiercely-held independence.

My advice. If you've got money in Northern Rock, get it out. Now.

But then, all of us have nothing but paper in any bank accounts. Perhaps a flight into real values is the only way out of this mess. Gold bars at the bottom of the garden, anyone? But then again, I visited the Bank of England museum the other day where they let me pick up a bar of gold. Crikey, those things are heavy!

And if you are a Northern Rock depositor and you need a laugh, go there and watch the BoE's video on inflation, in their museum. Laugh? I nearly got escorted from the building. I'll give you a flavour of the commentary:

"...and prices started rising in the First World War, so the Bank of England
stepped in to ensure there were enough notes in circulation to cope with these
rising prices..."

Almost as funny, in a sick stomach-wrenching kind of way, as watching England score no points against Seth Efrica.

Seth Efrica 796, England Big Fat Nil

Christ. No points. What a monkey nut.

Oh well. Two wasted years with that incoherent simian Andy Robinson has taken its with-hindsight-easily-predictable toll. Let's hope we can get home from this world cup with no more total humiliations, and then prepare for the next one with a lot more fire in our bellies.

What an utter banana. And there was I, fool, actually believing we could win before the kick-off. Emotion can be so blinding.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Fat Man on Bicycle - Still Alive Shock

Yes, I've been trying out my Strida this week in a daily commute from Paddington to Liverpool Street (while I wait for the UK government to build cross-rail, ahem).

By God there have been some hairy moments, but I think I'm almost there with the route, and I've managed to work out, without being killed first, that the best way around Trafalgar Square is simply to walk from The Mall to Northumberland Avenue via the pedestrian crossings. Yes, it's feeble; but effective and quicker than cycling.

So what's the Strida been like? I've really enjoyed the ride, especially alongside the Serpentine and down Constitution Hill. Yes, I'm possibly the slowest cyclist in London, at my one-geared 12mph, but what the heck; at least I can see the leaves on the trees and feel the wind through the ventilation holes in my Star Wars-style helmet. It's also nice that I've caused so much amusement for everyone who's had to witness my daily overland ramblings, with a former blind side flanker partial to the odd cow pie, washed down with gallons of Pinot Noir, lumping along on 10 kilograms of burnished aluminium, framed with spangly orange mudguards, whilst wearing the brightest yellow and orange vest in Christendom. I think the phrase "Circus elephant riding a comedy unicycle" comes to mind. But what could be better than bringing some happiness into the world?

One thing I have been surprised by is the utter lack of camaraderie from my fellow cyclists. No cheery waves or calls of encouragement, just bitter faces as they slice me down for daring to get in their way. What a miserable bunch, for the most part, and nothing as friendly as my fellow motorcyclists all were, when Maturin Towers was propelled along by Honda CBR Power.

A proper bike?

Though once you've been cut up by a few buses, taxis, and white vans, I'm sure much of the amusement of life fades from your soul. Plus, many of them are probably communist ecomentalists and that comes with a whole world of anger of its own.

But the best news is that I've made it past three days without sloping off back down into the alternative Soviet wonderland of the Tube! Let's see if that continues into the wind and rain of winter. Pip pip!!

PS> If you do decide to take the plunge yourself, and go cycling across London, a word of warning; Never (and I mean never) go down Fleet Street! I did, and it was only through blind stupidity and comedy recklessness that I managed to make it out the other end with most of my body parts still intact. You have been warned.

PPS> Maturin route from Paddington to Liverpool Street: Down to Lancaster Gate, through Hyde Park, along the Serpentine, across Hyde Park corner, down Constitution Hill, down the Mall, walk around Trafalgar Square anti-clockwise until on opposite southbound side of Northumberland Avenue, down to the Embankment, along the Embankment until Upper Thames Street gets to Cannon Street station, up the hill to Bank and you're just about there. If anyone has any other better routes (with an emphasis, wherever possible, of being separated from buses, vans, and taxis, please let me know). Current Maturin time: A stately 45 minutes, with plenty of rests at lights - though I'm working on getting this down to 35 minutes, the same average time as the Tube (Paddington-Bakerloo-Oxford Circus-Central Line-Bank).

PPPS> I still haven't turned into a socialist yet, as I feared. Though this may only be a matter of time. If you hear me utter the phrase 'saving the planet', please arrange to have me taken out and re-educated with a copy of Uncle Murray's Man, Economy, and State.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

George Orwell Was Wrong

After seeing an excellent article on, by Laurence Vance, about the American Empire, I couldn't help but think of George Orwell's seminal work, Nineteen-Eighty-Four. In 1948, Mr Orwell predicted that there would be three main states in the world, as depicted in the map below, ruled over by an overarching secret agreement to forever remain in perpetual war (so in some ways, making up just one de facto super-state):

Alas, it would appear George was wrong. For there are in fact, post-1984, five main states under one overarching de facto super-state.

So citizens of Oceania, in the previous Kingdom of Blighty, arise. For though you once believed you were citizens of Oceania, behold, you are in fact citizens of USEUCOM. What fun! :-)

However, this throws up a problem (aside from the curious melange that was once Alaska), because the three states in Nineteen-Eighty-Four agreed to fight each other forever, to provide the excuse that each was necessary to defend its proles against the other two. So what 'security' excuse can a known single empire use? I know. How about a perpetual war on global terrorism? You can never locate it or ever get rid of it, and given enough CIA funding errors, it will never be short of weapons or training with which to blow up the odd prole. Fantastic! Problem solved.

Yes, life really is becoming more and more like Terry Gilliam's Brazil, with every passing day.

(And not forgetting, as Laurence Vance further points out, the US Space Command for those future off-world military adventures)

US Government Admits Defeat

When a Bush General says a Bush Plan is working, it can only lead to the response, "Gor' Blimey, Guv, who'd 'a thunk it?"

But when the unsubtle underlining motif of this response is that the US should start getting out as soon as possible, after already having achieved victory you understand, it's quite clear that the Pentagon, despite spending perhaps over a trillion dollars, has lost and has thrown in the towel.

There's only a few ways you can take over a country against a hostile populace. (1) Take over an already existing control structure established over a long period of time, often via the other two policies to be described, (2) Exterminate one major group to placate other previously hostile groups, (3) Decimate the entire population to cow them into submission.

So let's see how the Washington DC Imperiocrats could have really 'won' in Iraq:

(1) From a purely empire-building point of view, the Americans could have followed the lessons of the British Empire when it took over India by taking over the previous Mogul power structure. But I suppose in simply taking over the Ba'athist Party and changing a few names at the top, the American government would have looked a teensy-weensy bit cynical, even for Fox News.

(2) They could've followed the Roman Imperial model when taking over Britain, and wiping out a few tribes to placate other pro-Roman tribes, or indeed wiping out the entire Druidic cult in Anglesey, down to the last man, to placate those who had been in thrall to the Druids. But organising lines of Marines to walk through cities slaughtering everyone in their gun sights, as the British also did in Tasmania, would have looked a little too like Vietnam for most people's comfort.

(3) They could've followed the Duke of Cumberland's model in Scotland, after Culloden, when his Highland clearances decimated the Scottish population (which to this day has left large areas of Scotland less occupied than it might otherwise be). But seeing as many of those rebellious Scots under pain of instant execution left hurriedly for the Carolinas, Georgia, and Virginia, to escape Butch Cumberland's tender mercies, wholesale decimations like this probably are too much for an Army which draws many of its modern-day recruits from these same 'rebel' areas.

So where does that leave the US Army? I reckon it has two end games. One, is the familiar 'last helicopter leaving from the roof of the surrounded embassy' scenario, sometime in the next five years. The other is to invade Iran to keep the showboat running. Though unless one of the strategies, (1) to (3) above, is adopted in Iran, it will just be the last helicopter leaving from the roof of the Embassy in Tehran (after the slaughter of a couple of million Iranians), rather than from the rooftop in Baghdad, with perhaps another five years added on to the destructive baby-killing ignominy. And with China dumping US treasuries and the Fed pumping billions of counterfeit dollars into the maw of inflation, I'm beginning to doubt the Americans can afford it. Is this (I hope) the beginning of the end of the American Empire? Let us hope so.

There is one other alternative, of course, and that is for the US Army to march out immediately with its held head high, get onto the boats (or onto the airliners), and get back to continental North America where they belong. Or even better, back into the productive economy of North America rather than the wasteful one of the military. Such a policy is of course that declared by Dr. Ron Paul.

But apparently, Fox News and all the other neoconservative mass-murderers, would prefer the Iranian war option, with perhaps the odd nuke thrown in for fun. It would seem they would prefer more slaughters of innocents rather than admit that in any way they are wrong.

God help us all.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Vote Labour - It Almost Makes Sense

Whilst listening to Sir Terry Wogan this morning, I almost lost the will to live. No, not because of Sir Terry, who helps keep me sane each day, but by a story reported on the 8 o'clock news. Apparently, the Tories think we need less carrot and more stick to raise the quality of our lives (i.e. more taxes, regulations, mercantilism, planning, controls, and generally more banal and wealth-destructive socialism).

Here's their plan. They want to charge me more stamp duty each time I move home, ban me from owning a Plasma TV screen, ban me from having standby facilities on electronic devices, tax me more for using air travel, tax me more for using roads (thereby allowing me, how generous of them, to be allowed to cycle to Edinburgh), tax me for out-of-town shopping car parks so they can use the money to prop up useless local bus services nobody uses, and generally remove me from "the hedonistic treadmill where individuals can never be satisfied".

Or as Professor Mises might have put it, destroy all of my human impulses which drive me to help improve the world through either initial wealth creation or voluntary trade. In a sop to Karl Marx, all of the above plus much more, is to help "improve my quality of life" and "equalize opportunities for all". How my life can be improved by banning me from voluntary activities and taxing me into the ground for daring to go more than five miles from my home is "improving the quality of my life" I have no idea. Though I'm sure it will improve the quality of life of all the extra bureaucrats and other parasites who will be brought in to monitor these regulations and live off these taxes.

Which led me to a rather startling conclusion which almost sent me into an unassuming roadside ditch. I don't vote in elections, as it legitimises these socialist (Tory and Labour) idiots, but if you put a gun to my head and made me vote, I'd only be able to go one way.

Hoots Mon, McBroon, I'm yer man. You can stick the Tory Party up a dog's bum.

My God, that it should come to this. If Her Madgesty Margaret Thatcher was dead, she'd be turning in her grave.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Why Oh Why Oh Why...

...did all of these American Investment Banks, filled with some of the smartest people I've ever met, waste so much money on subprime mortgages, wrapped up in some of the stupidest derivative contracts ever devised?

This was a question that was puzzling me the other day. Yes, fractional reserve fiat money banking leads to terrible dislocations, misallocations, booms, busts, recessions, depressions, and other gargantuan assortments of perennial state thievery, but surely it hadn't also infected the brains of all these bright ambitious people too, in the Investment Banks, and simply stopped them thinking and plunged the rest of us into such financial turmoil? (And if you don't think you've personally been affected by what's happened in the last month, on Wall Street and in the City, then I'm afraid you need to break out the Cod Liver Oil pills to boost up your own thinking.)

Why had these smart hard-working millionaire bankers invested so much of their investors' money in subprime mortgages? I tried to think up some Austro-economic paradigm to explain it, but nothing fitted. However, this was because I was too stupid myself to realise the answer to the problem was much simpler. It was straightforward government planning and controls that had led all of these bankers to soberly choose an intelligent path of wasting wealth on legions of hopeless cases. Because of the way government had framed the market, this centrally directed wastage became the only rational choice available to Wall Street. How so?

The magnificent Thomas DiLorenzo, explains. Thank you, Professor. I shall break out my own Cod Liver Oil pills, immediately! :-)

Friday, September 07, 2007

Scotland Edges Closer to Freedom

Och Aye, the Noo, as I say when I'm in Edinburgh sampling Glen Morange...

Alex Salmond, of the Scottish Nationalists, head of the state mafia in the Kingdom of Albany, has instructed all of his court bureaucrats to call this mafia 'The Scottish Government'. Gordon Brown, the Scottish head of the state mafia in the Kingdom of Albion, has instructed his court bureaucrats to continue calling Salmond's mafia 'The Scottish Executive'.

Boys, boys, boys,...Now then, now then, now then!

Pity the poor BBC. In its bid to crawl to both courts, it is calling the Scottish mafia, 'The Scottish Government' in Scotland, and 'The Scottish Executive' in England. Such independence of spirit, well worth the licence fee!

Oh sweet happy day when Scotland finally secedes from the rotten British state. It can't come soon enough, dragging McBroon down with it one fervently hopes. And although I philosophically dislike all politicians, the odd rogue like Bonson Jorris or Her Madgesty, still make me smile occasionally, as did 'Slippery Salmon' today. Like all politicians he knows the ultimate power of words, hence his cunning use of the term 'Scottish Government', to slowly slip the leash, one phrase at a time. He is ratcheting in the direction of Scottish secession freedom, therefore I applaud him. Shame about all the other socialist policies he follows, but praise should be given where praise is due.

But won't it be sad if Scotland does slip the leash, and McBroon is left like the last Macaroon at the Party, a Prime Minister without a constituency. Oh my, how I'll weep.

And so, as the afternoon wears on, and my first double-gin-and-tonic of the weekend grows ever closer, along with its ice and its limes, I shall make my toast to Alex Salmond. Slange!

The Golgafrinchams are Coming!

Nurse, the screens!

The injections are continuing, in the best Robert Mugabe-esque tradition of solving a shortage of wealth by ramping up the printing machines, or in the case of the Fed, the Bank of England, and the ECB, by ramping up the insertion of numbers into previously blank computer registers.

Yep, the Fed and the ECB between them have just 'injected' (a.k.a. counterfeited) another £44 billion pounds of extra paper rubbish into their currencies. Once the fractional reserve confidence trick gets hold of that lump of nervousness, we're looking at another £440 billion pounds worth of extra paper notes floating around the world's fiat-money-based economies (or £0.44 trillion), without including what the Bank of England are up to or the Australian Central Bank.

Crumbs. A trillion here and a trillion there, and pretty soon you're talking about real money. Though of course we're not talking about real money (which is gold or silver), but paper scrip of a kind the Weimar republic or modern-day Zimbabwe would be proud of.

I don't know exactly when it's coming. But a 'Big Bang' is coming to an economy near you, real soon. And no, I'm not talking about a theory of Richard Feynman, but the economics of the Golgafrinchams who on reaching Earth a million years ago, began using the leaves of trees as their major currency, before burning down the forests to contract the money supply.

Strangely, in a rather bizarre genetic coincidence, the first Golgafrincham man to suggest the burning down of the primeval forests as an Open Market Operation, has 100% of his genes represented in a handful of men still alive on the Earth day. Though I don't think I'll be giving out any prizes for pointing out that virtually all of these men now work as the heads of state Central Banks. Even a Mungoid like Robert Mugabe could have worked that one out! ;-)

Vote Conservative - Let Us Put Your Children into Slavery

It would seem that not only are we supposed to slave away for our entire lives to support the legions of Ne'er-do-well parasites sucking at the mother teat; David "Slavemaster" Cameron would like us to spend actual time as actual slaves. Obviously, as an anarchist I would argue strongly against foisting legitimacy upon these bums in Westminster and Brussels by ever voting for the scum. But even if I was a democrat, just what would be the point exactly of voting Conservative? No doubt once implemented the six-week plan, just as with an initial 2% initial income tax, would quickly inflate to at least two years (to make the camp logistics work out more efficiently, you understand). And if then Britain were to stumble into yet another imperial war, thousands of miles from home, what better place to get our new recruits than from the reserve pool of the state's slave children? "Vote Conservative - Let Us Kill Your Children in Self-Aggrandizing Imperial Wars Abroad" is hardly a slogan you'll see Cameron broadcasting aloud, but it's right there if you scratch a single millimetre under the surface of this pompous arrogant Blimp.