Published on 10-20-2010
What is the most likely cause today of civil unrest? Immigration. Gay Marriage. Abortion. The Results of Election Day. The Mosque at Ground Zero. Nope.
Try the Federal Reserve. November 3rd is when the Federal Reserve’s next policy committee meeting ends, and if you thought this was just another boring money meeting you would be wrong. It could be the most important meeting in Fed history, maybe. The US central bank is expected to announce its next move to boost the faltering economic recovery. To say there has been considerable debate and anxiety among Fed watchers about what the central bank should do would be an understatement. Chairman Ben Bernanke has indicated in recent speeches that the central bank plans to try to drive down already low-interest rates by buying up long-term bonds. A number of people both inside the Fed and out believe this is the wrong move. But one website seems to believe that Ben’s plan might actually lead to armed conflict. Last week, the blog, Zerohedge wrote, paraphrasing a top economic forecaster David Rosenberg, that it believed the Fed’s plan is not only moronic, but “positions US society one step closer to civil war if not worse.” (See photos inside the world of Ben Bernanke)
I’m not sure what “if not worse,” is supposed to mean. But, with the Tea Party gaining followers, the idea of civil war over economic issues doesn’t seem that far-fetched these days. And Ron Paul definitely thinks the Fed should be ended. In TIME’s recently cover story on the militia movement many said these groups are powder kegs looking for a catalyst. So why not a Fed policy committee meeting. Still, I’m not convinced we are headed for Fedamageddon. That being said, the Fed’s early November meeting is an important one. Here’s why:
Usually, there is generally a consensus about what the Federal Reserve should do. When the economy is weak, the Fed cuts short-term interest rates to spur borrowing and economic activity. When the economy is strong and inflation is rising, it does the opposite. But nearly two years after the Fed cut short-term interest rates to basically zero, more and more economists are questioning whether the US central bank is making the right moves. The economy is still very weak and unemployment seems stubbornly stuck near 10%.
Pyramids of Control
December 28, 2009
|We can be pretty sure that this new technology will be implemented, pronto, with its full capability, and with no choice to opt-out: mission accomplished.|
The holiday season has greeted us with “Terr’ists” who prefer their underwear to their shoes (and they need well-dressed escorts when they forget their passport). It would all seem ridiculous if it hadn’t already caused a dramatic increase in airport security, as people are now being told to show up 4 hours in advance for international flights. This is a rather large problem. For those in the business of creating problems, though, this was a well-chosen stratagem for eliciting the all-important reaction; is there ever a more stressful time or event than Christmas travel? So, as dot connectors, we need to look at what solutions are being offered for this problem. Enter stage left (and right): Tyranny.
1. The new 3D body scanning device that makes us all more naked than naked was met with faux consternation when it was first revealed. It was, naturally, played down. But we can be pretty sure that this new technology will be implemented, pronto, with its full capability, and with no choice to opt-out: mission accomplished.
2. Prisoner training. After the hassle of actually getting to, and getting on the plane, it will literally be prison-like conditions once aboard. No electronic devices or hand-held items (books), and no bathroom breaks for the last hour of the flight. As DHS Secretary Napolitano stated on the TSA website:
Passengers flying from international locations to U.S. destinations may notice additional security measures in place. These measures are designed to be unpredictable, so passengers should not expect to see the same thing everywhere. Due to the busy holiday travel season, both domestic and international travelers should allot extra time for check-in.
3. The Patriot Act: As of December 16, the renewal of the Patriot Act in its present form was still being disputed, delayed, and debated. Pretty sure it will be sailing through, with even more draconian measures attached: mission accomplished.
4. Expanding the war (s). Yemen? Who knew? Well now the world knows that it is near Pakistan, Afghanistan . . . heck, it’s in the Middle East — TERRORISTS — BOMBS AWAY! No Congress, no discussion needed: mission accomplished.
5. The African connection. They have been working on Africom legitimacy for a while. Underwear bombers from Nigeria with connections to Yemen (and born in England?): mission accomplished.
6. (More) Military presence on American soil. Let it not be said that there isn’t freedom somewhere in America — you just have to be part of NORTHCOM or INTERPOL. Total freedom to investigate, abuse, arrest, and never to be questioned about it: mission accomplished.
7. Keeping Americans at home, while discouraging inbound tourists. In a November 14th article titled, “International Tourism Decline on the Upswing, if America Doesn’t Sabotage the Recovery,” we can read a call to action in this interesting choice of words — if you are standing at the top of the pyramid. The last thing that people who are trying to consolidate power, and siphon as much money from bottom to top, would want is a recovery in the real economy. Additionally, the fear of travel reinforces U.S. isolationism. The ultimate effect? Dependence on the government for both security and financial aid: mission accomplished.
8. Overall security must be increased. Although Janet Napolitano almost unforgivably forgot her script, she is back on track the day after and in lockstep with security apparatchiks everywhere — current security measures are never enough, more must be done: mission accomplished.
So, if all it takes is Terror to create Tyranny, then the words of the Underpants Bomber seem to ring true for 2010: There is more to come.Start Slide Show with PicLens Lite