Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Ponzi Is Coming For You

Charles Ponzi was one of the greatest swindlers of all time. His name is used to describe a fraudulent investment scheme in which initial investors are paid abnormally high returns using funds invested by subsequent investors.

Ponzi schemes ultimately break down for lack of true economic substance. One such scheme has been in the news recently. It seems that Bernard Madoff managed over a period of years to amass an investment fund valued in the billions of dollars by promising a safe and secure return at rates which could not be matched elsewhere. Madoff had sterling credentials and a client list which included wealthy elites and serious pension funds. He had been in business for years without any hint of a problem. But Bernie was a fraud, and now there is great wailing and gnashing of teeth at the country club.

Group think, one sheep following another, is part of what makes a Ponzi scheme work. Madoff's clients each considered themselves to be among the fortunate members of a special group. Their confidence was mutually supportive to the point that they stopped thinking for themselves.

There is another great Ponzi scheme operating in America, a program that promises long term health and security to its investors, each of whom has a personal account to which regular contributions are supposedly deposited. But contributions made by newer investors are used to pay off older investors, so there are no actual investments in the personal accounts.

Like any other Ponzi scheme, the U.S. Social Security Program, which includes Medicare, will ultimately collapse on itself. When it does there will be true hardship and poverty among those who depended upon the promises of the fraudulent Ponzi promoters in government.

Since the average American has no personal savings plan, his years of Social Security contributions amount to a life savings - all of which will suddenly vanish.

No one wants to believe that Congress would expose the people to such risk. But this misplaced confidence in our elected elites is the group think that holds the Social Security Ponzi scheme together. If anyone other than our elected elites attempted such a crime, they would long ago have been arrested and imprisoned.

Most thinking people already know or suspect that this is true. And yet nothing is done. All of us with earned income continue to make contributions to the Social Security Ponzi scheme.

The rolling economic disaster we are experiencing all over the world this year should serve as ample reminder that the laws of simple economics cannot be forever ignored without consequence. Irresponsible lending leads to defaults. Irresponsible spending leads to bankruptcy, and bogus Ponzi schemes never succeed.

If just one percent of us banded together and refused to participate in the Income Tax / Social Security system, a million taxpayers acting as one, the Ponzi promoters would be exposed, and the scheme would collapse now before any more of our savings are stolen.

But, sheep being what they are, we will continue to be fleeced until the scheme unwinds on its own.

When you see the anguished news stories about the victims of Bernie Madoff, know that soon it will be your turn.

Ponzi is coming for you.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Where Is Mumbai?

Get out your Gazetteer. It had better be of recent publication. Mumbai is India's largest city, and it's financial capital. Mumbai is to India as New York is to the United States. But until 1996 it was known as Bombay, a name from Imperial times. Mumbai is a fascinating city unlike any other on earth.

Recently Mumbai has been in the news. Islamic terrorists went on a killing spree through leading hotels, a railway station, a cultural center, a restaurant and more. Hundreds were killed or injured by only ten determined assailants. The horror continued for two days. Local news reports are calling the incident India's 9/11.

Intelligence anaysts report that the terrorists were well trained and equipped, and that the operational plan for the attack is scalable and reuseable. More terrorists could be preparing additional Mumbai style attacks for the future. Young men with AK-47s are easier to obtain and deploy than fully fueled passenger airliners.

It is notable that only ten men with relatively light arms were able to cause so much damage over such an extended period of time. But, Mumbai, like many modern progressive cities, requires that its citizens be disarmed. And like most other socialized deninzens of the modern urban world, people in Mumbai are no doubt taught to rely on the Authorities for emergency response, and to seek non-violent means for conflict resolution.

Terrorist planning for the Mumbai attack was founded on the secure knowledge that the people of Mumbai would be personally defenceless. They could be slaughtered like sheep in a pen.

Just like the children at Columbine. Or the students at Virginia Tech.

Thirty-nine American States honor the 2nd Amendment to the Bill of Rights by providing that concealed carry permits shall be issued to qualified citizens. In Texas and Florida nobody can be sure who is or isn't armed. A Mumbai style attack on the best hotels or cultural centers in Dallas or Miami would be a deadly gamble - for the terrorists.

But the debate goes on. My God-given individual right to defend myself and those around me by use of appropriate firearms is regularly infringed or denied by government. The ruling elite here in California, all of whom may themselves go armed or guarded while in public, prefer to rely on the Authorities for the safety of the sheep.

Where is Mumbai? It is your city, your town, your school or church. It is anyplace where significant numbers of people gather in a confined space.

If your community is one in which people have retained the right of individual self-defence, be glad in your increased security. Join in the defence of your community. Consider becoming qualified to carry a firearm. If you are already qualified, consider going armed when you are in public. Just one armed citizen at Virginia Tech could have saved dozens of lives.

If your community denies your right to self-defence, be aware that it is a soft target for terrorism.

Mumbai is your hometown.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Happy Communists

Sam Webb, Communist Party USA National Chair, in a November 15 speech to the CPUSA National Committee, called the election of Barack Obama a monumental victory. He said that election night was a magical moment in which tears of joy and exhilaration mingled with memories of how far we have come.

Fidel Castro says that Cuba can talk with Obama.

Hugo Chavez congratulates Obama and suggests rebuilding relations.

No doubt Joseph Stalin and Mao Tse Tung would also be pleased.

Not many years ago very few of us were confused about Communism. We saw that it was opposed to our way of life, that our individual freedoms would be lost forever if Communists took over in America. Now, here we are celebrating Obama's victory with a bunch of happy Communists.

Have a look at the Communist Party USA web site. It is attractive, professional, and full of interesting articles and links. Much of what it contains doesn't sound foreign or scary at all. The CPUSA presentation of socialism and progressive ideas could be published by most Democrats and more than a few Republicans without significant revision.

Have the Communists changed? Have they mellowed since the days when Nikita Khrushchev pounded his shoe on the UN podium and promised to bury us? Have they given up on the Gulags and re-education camps? Do they no longer inspire boat people to flee for their lives? Are present day Communist economic and social policies likely to produce better results than those which impoverished much of Europe until the 1989 revolutions?

Or have we changed? Have we become more progressive, more tolerant, more inclusive? Have enough of us been indoctrinated in public schools where there is no pride in American history and no classic English literature, where patriotism and individualism are discouraged, and where God is the enemy?

Have we learned to be Workers and Peasants rather than Sovereign Citizens - dependent consumers and entitled beneficiaries rather than free holding producers?

While celebrating with Obama, we may do well to reflect upon Sam Webb and his happy Communists.