Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Dropping C-Notes

The Federal Reserve creates money through lending, not through printing. Paper currency is printed in response to demand for the currency. The Feds claim that 90% of printed bills are to replace old bills that have worn thin.

The Currency Order Report is still quite interesting.

The Fed positions the twenty dollar bill as the primary bill for day to day transactions. My local ATM spits out $20s. The currency report, however, shows that the Feds are printing up almost as many hundred dollar bills as twenties. In 2013, they printed more hundred dollar bills than twenties!

The 2016 report shows the feds requested 2,425,600,000 ones, 1,939,200,000 twenties and 1,516,800,000 hundreds.

I contend that, since 1s and 20s are used in common person-to-person transactions, they wear out faster; so the number of new 100s is greater than the number of new 20s.

Hundreds tend to be used in bank to bank transactions or are sent abroad.

An inflationary note. A hundred dollar bill in 2016 has the same buying power as a dollar bill had a hundred years ago; So, I decided to start using hundreds. I've discovered that merchants (especially small independent shops) like to get hundreds are they are easier to count than twenties.

One night in a midrange hotel in Salt Lake costs about $100. A hundred dollar bill provides about one day's expense if an emergency occurred.

On the down note, In recent decades, the police have increased the practice of civil forfeiture (see policing for profits). Police consider people carrying c-notes to automatically be guilty crimes. For example, if you sold a car for cash and the police stop you, they will confiscate your money until you can prove, beyond reasonable doubt; that the money came from selling a car. (Apparently, proving that you are going to buy a car is difficult.)

The term "criminalization of cash" refers to laws and government policies designed to discourage cash transactions. For example, governments have stopped printing large denomination bills. They confiscate currency and restrict cash transactions over a given limit.

Anyway, as the c-spot is the new dollar, I figured that people should start using c-notes more often. I figure that using c-notes in regular transactions might help discourage this trend.

Regardless of what you chose to do, the annual currency reports from the Federal Reserve provide insight into the ways that people respond to inflation. Most of the new hundred dollar bills are traveling abroad, but, as inflation continues, I suspect that we will see people in the states start using more hundreds than twenties in the near future.

c-notes

Saturday, May 07, 2016

The Down and Dirty on Pulling Weeds

Counter-culturalists have declared the first Saturday in May is Naked Gardening Day; So, I decided to celebrate the event by pulling a weed before getting dressed this morning.

The "weed" I selected was this little tree that was growing along the foundation of a small shed. It needs pulling as it would do damage to a cinder block shed.

I probably did it wrong. WNGD is a counter-culture event. The founders are less interested in gardening, and probably want participants in WNGD to prance around nekkid in front of others ... especially those are disturbed by such actions.

The promoters of social nudity have compelling literature on "body freedom" and they love to insult people who are uncomfortable with public nudity.

People engaged in the counter-culture seem to be more compelled by a desire to shock others than a need to be nude. So, I have to reject the idea that nudity is some sort of fundamental freedom. Freedom is about what people do for themselves. I do not have freedoms to do things to others.

Personally, I have no problem with skinny dipping or public showers, but I do have a problem with people behaving crudely towards others. While the nudist movement might start with high sounding ideals, the movement is ultimately undermined by people being shocking and crude.

It would be fun to do a nude trail clean up or spurge purge. But the white sap of the spurge is toxic. I would want to wear gloves ... defeating the whole purpose of WNGD. So, I participated in the event by pulling a plant and posting its picture online. Now, I am off to do more productive things.

Friday, May 06, 2016

Cattle Chutes and Temple Ceilings

My family moved into Salt Lake in 1975. During that time, I've attended two LDS Wedding Receptions. The LDS Church claims that over half the people are LDS. I've polled people I know. Many have never been invited to LDS wedding receptions at all.

The first ceremony involved the boss's daughter. The boss was a political appointee who was unqualified for his position. He nearly ran the enterprise into the ground. The boss had had important connections in the Church which, in the long run, means a lot more for a Utah based company than competency.

Attending the boss's daughter's wedding was pretty much mandatory.

The event itself was rather humiliating. Mormon members of the firm were part of the ceremony. The gentiles were lined up herded through a cattle chute divider where we each received a condescending gesture from the bride and groom before being sent on our merry way to salvage the rest of the day.

Last week's event was a little better. The grand parents of the bride were gentiles. The couple had thing called a "ring ceremony" followed by a more traditional reception.

A "ring ceremony" is a re-enactment of the wedding done for the public.

Apparently, non-Mormons are not allowed to witness the actual event which is called a "sealing."

Legend tells that secret words and secret names are given during the sealing.

During the "ring ceremony" the bride and groom appeared at a reception center and were clearly play acting as they exchanged rings for a second time. There was a big joke about how the groom had already kissed the bride an hour earlier and was getting good at it.

A Mormon bishop read a passage from The Bible. This makes sense as a ring ceremony is usually performed for people are are Christian, but not LDS.

Watching a re-enactment of a wedding isn't really that much fun. IMHO, the fun part of a wedding ceremony is that a couple enters the room as two singles, then make a formal commitment in front of the community.

I believe that marriage is an important foundation of our society. I would even venture that public wedding ceremonies are important for a community as a public ceremony helps strengthen the commitment to matrimony.

Conversely, I think the practice of having "sealings" take place in secret is a negative tradition that leads to a fractured society.

The LDS practice of secret sealings was started by Joseph Smith. In 2014 the LDS Church finally openly admitted that Joseph Smith had "secretly" to over 40 women. The acknowledged list included fourteen-year-old girls and the wives of Smith's followers. (The list may be longer than 40).

I imagine that LDS couples believe that a secret sealing at a temple makes a marriage extra special.

I admire all couples who are dedicated to making their marriages work.

As an outsider looking in. I see a sealing as a creepy ritual that traces back to acts by Joseph Smith that could be described as adultery and child molestation.

I believe the true merits of a marriage is found in the dedication the couple give to their relation. Our society can affect through education and counseling and respect for the institution of marriage.

In this regard, I think the LDS practice of secret sealings in the Temple is negative. 

I've known girls who, in their young teens, were sealed to old men. These child brides had horrible stories of abuse that was hidden from view by the secret act of secret sealings.

Well, to end this blog post. I simply need to say that I usually enjoy attending weddings. Watching a "ring ceremony" by an LDS couple made me feel queasy.

I started the post by feeling bad that, in the 40 years I've lived in Utah, I've only been invited to two LDS Wedding Receptions. The two events that I did attend made me feel queasy; So, maybe the Mormon practice of excluding others from their ceremonies is needed.

This video by BrighamYoungSpeaks has a dramatic reading of Brigham Young sermons in which the second president of the LDS Church boasted that he will have millions of wives and untold power in the Celestial Kingdom. This is the way that Mormonism looks like to people standing on the outside:

Saturday, April 09, 2016

Closed Primary

It looks like the presidential primary will come down to New York.

New York has a closed primary. Independents cannot change their party affiliation to vote in the primary.

Understandably, this situation has many independent New Yorkers feeling put off. Crazy people are in love with Sanders and the maladjusted simply can't get enough of Trump.

Considering that primaries determine the candidates for offices, there is a strong argument for open primaries.

But, even with open primaries, parties are parties. The partisan primary system still creates candidates that are partisan first and American second.

The fact that New York could seal the presidential nomination for Trump and Clinton might get people to question the inherent absurdity of our parties and foundational ideologies of these things.

The US Founders despised the factions of the King's Court and the partisanship which dominates modern politics is counter to the ideals of this nation.

This partisanship is at the heart of the erosion of our liberties.

Partisan ideologies might take a few ideas and images related to the ideals of liberty. But the partisan ideologies pervert the ideals and make them subservient to the partisanship itself.

So, while our candidates this political season are disappointing, perhaps the campaign might become a catalyst for people to start questioning the parties.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Yep, The Government Lies

How pathetic.

According to the New York Post, The Federal Reserve stopped using the unemployment rate published by the BLS.

Had the Feds been using the information published by the BLS, they would have raised interest rates quite significantly. Instead we find that, eight years into this recession, the Feds still have the interest rate stimulus running at full throttle.

It appears that the BLS is publishing information based on the effects that it wants to achieve and is not simply trying to accurately reflect reality ... which is what it should be doing.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Happy Easter Everyone

Happy Easter everyone.

For those following this blog: I have not fallen off the face of the earth.

I simply haven't been pressing the publish button after writing posts.

I've concluded that the way people are blogging, engaging in forums and tweeting is actually making the political problems faced by the world worse.

I don't want to be blogging unless I feel that I am making things better.

This, being Easter, one might ask: Would Christ be writing a blog?

I suspect that he would be reading other blogs, shaking his head and muttering: "They know not what they do."

The story of Easter is one in which all of the players in our community are engaged in their various mind games and end up executing an innocent man.

Christianity holds that, not only was Jesus innocent of the accused crimes, the Christian belief holds that Christ was the Son of God. The people didn't just execute an innocent man. They executed divinity.

I started this blog simply as a flow of conscious. The driving idea behind a blog is just to write out opinions for the sake of writing.

The idea behind this style of blogging is simply that if millions of people write down their observations, that the world might find a better path forward.

The actuality is that flow of conscious blogging seems to be leading to greater conflict and less understanding.

Notably, one of the most bellicose politicians of our age in on the verge of obtaining the GOP nomination. The Democrats are gleefully nominating the wife of an impeached president.

The activism on the left and right is leading us into a more dangerous world with the worst of both parties running rampant.

Until I can figure out a way to show that both sides in this partisan divide are wrong, I want to temper my writing.

Unfortunately, demanding compromise and bipartisanship is not a solution. The compromise between two wrong positions is an even worse wrong.

The term "bipartisanship" implies that one should proceed by advancing the factors that the parties have in common.

The factors that both parties have in common is a desire for concentrated power and intellectual corruption.

Bipartisanship only works when the common factors of the two parties are positive. When the common factors are simply the desire for power and corruption, the bipartisanship is an evil.

In the last decade, Americans have been acting like the crowd that called for the death of Christ.  While individuals may have good intentions, the shrill noise coming from us is leading to injustice.

While the political landscape looks bleak. I believe it is possible for people to find a positive direction.

The first step to finding this positive direction is for people to ask if their individual actions are helping lead people in that right direction.

Simply denouncing partisan opponents is not sufficient.

Obama rose to power simply riding on the deficiencies of Bush. Trump hopes to gain power on the deficiencies of Obama and Clinton hopes to regain power by riding on the deficiencies of Trump.

The result of this methodology is an overbearing government that is simply deficient.

The story of Easter shows that this type of political game has been played out since antiquity.

So, Happy Easter. It is the beginning of Spring and things might get better despite our politics.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Violence for Political Ends

Is it strange to see Barrack Obama in Cuba celebrating the life of Castro at the same time as the terrorist attack in Brussels.

The article Castro and Terrorism provides a timeline of Fidel's and Raul's ongoing support for international terrorism. Many of the groups funded by Castro have devolved into the terrorists that we see today.

The Castro Brothers trained terrorists in Northern Africa and Syria which are ground zero for the current round of terrorists.

In Latin America, the left wing terrorist groups devolved into drug lords.

Genocide Watch groups report that there were over 26,000 reported disappearances in Mexico between 2006 and 2012. Estimates of the victim count often reach 100,000.

It is hard to get good counts as the numbers include 80 journalists who disappeared for daring to report on the genocide.

(Doesn't anyone else find it strange that a neighboring country had a genocide during the Obama administration that was simply ignored by the left wing media?)

I understand the desire to whitewash Castro's terrorist history and to normalize relations. Unfortunately, the escalating terrorism that we see in the world show that now is not a good time for this course of action and that Obama's rush to arrange photo-ops with the Castro's is effectively a tacit approval of the use of violence for political ends.

On Turkeys and Brussel Sprouts

The terrorist attacks in Brussels have received a great deal of media attention.

The truly scary attacks, however, are taking place in Turkey which has seen about a dozen attacks in this last year (wikidpedia).

Turkey has taken in the bulk of refugees displaced by ISIS.

Turkey has been seeking membership into the European Union, which the US supports.

That the terrorist attacks are coinciding with the refugee crisis indicates that something I've feared may be true.

My fear is that immigration has become radicalized.

I am a fan of immigration, But when political groups seek to change an area through immigration, immigration becomes radicalized and turns from a positive force into a negative force.

If it were feasible, I would support open borders. But in an age of radicalized immigration, I believe that the best alternative is to create clear immigration laws that our nation enforces.

Although it sounds harsh, deportation is the correct response to an immigration violation.

Unfortunately, the reality is that our Federal Government needs to show the people a willingness to support immigration laws before we can have any sort of liberalization of immigration policy.

The terrorist attacks which have dotted the EU this last year show the dangers of radicalized immigration. The first line of defense against terrorism is well defined immigration law which are enforced.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Utah Caucuses

The Utah Caucuses are tomorrow. I am not sure if I am going to attend.

The Republican Caucus appears to be the most interesting vote tomorrow. I hesitate to attend the caucus because I am not a member of the party.

The GOP in Utah has made it abundantly clear that me and my kind are not welcome in their ranks. I really don't think it is fair to barge into someone's political event and voice opinions when the opinions are not welcome in the party.

It is common sense and common courtesy to say that people who are not welcome in a party have no business attending the primary election.

Accepting this position, however, means that the people who fundamentally reject the partisan approach to politics, are excluded from the most important vote of the year. (Caucuses and primaries determine the names on the ballot).

The Party system is not part of the Constitution. The US Founders routinely voiced disapproval of the warring factions that dominate European politics.

This game where parties control the government by controlling who gets on the ballot is fundamentally opposed to the spirit of the US Constitution.

I believe that the US Founders wanted an inclusive mechanism for selecting leaders.

This factional system, left/right was created by the enemies of freedom.

Notably, Conservatism was created in the 1830s by King William IV of England as an effort to rebrand the Tory Party for the modern age (Wikipedia Conservative Party).

The Conservative Party has existed continuously since 1834. The conservative game is for candidates to use free market rhetoric (along with put downs of liberals) to gain power.

Once in power, Conservatives pass laws that favor economic centralization.

Partisan conservatives present the public with free market rhetoric. The Republican Party has no plans in the works to promote economic decentralization.

The Party is intrinsically corrupt.

At least the Democrats have some integrity. They might say Vote Hillary and you will get a free phone.

Sure enough, there are government programs to give out free phones, free health care, free t-shirts, free education, free pamphlets, free food, free grants, and other free what nots.

Who knows, one might find a cute young thing at a Democratic caucus so smitten with all the free stuff, that she'll give out free sex (followed by a free abortion if the free condom fails.)

The Democratic promise of freebies will be followed by propaganda about how business is evil and that we need to counter evil business with greater government centralization.

Both parties are built on the same structure. They use different connotations of the word "free" to gain power. They both promote economic and political concentration in power.

Regardless of whether or not I attend the caucus, the general election will simply be the choice of the lesser of two evils.

So, I am still left with the question: Should I march into the GOP caucus when I know perfectly well that I am not a conservative. I dislike King William IV and much as I dislike King George III or should I follow my conscious and take a political stand outside the party?

Either way. It doesn't matter.

The left and right and simply mirrors of each other. Both conservativism and progressivism came from a rejection of the ideals of freedom that lie at the foundation of this nation. The only real way to save this nation is for more people to reject the left/right split as a false dichotomies and to reject the two parties as the primary source of corruption in our age.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Silent Sunsets

I learned the other day that one cannot say "It's a pretty sunset" within earshot of a Democrat.

In the modern mindset every word must be measured for political effect. Saying, "hey it's a pretty sunset" must be matched by a political diatribe aimed at spreading hatred of a progressive's enemies.

The haze that appears in the Salt Lake Valley is due primarily to a large amount of moisture on the ground trapped between two mountains. I know this because mountain valleys with few people develop the same haze.

The haze traps in pollutants.

So, saying it's a pretty sunset on the same day in which there is haze means progressives must spill forth with all of the hatred in their dark hearts.

Anyway, if you are near a Democrat, you need to learn to internalize statements such as "it's a pretty sunset."

Vocalizing a thought does not enhance a view. Spewed hated diminishes it.

In modern America one must learn to enjoy beauty without vocalization.

Progressives control the schools. Progressives teach that every word must be measured for political effect. This is our world. But is is kind of sad to live in a world where we cannot say "it's a pretty sunset."